Guard yourself against sudden cardiac arrest: Beware of palpitations

Fluttering of your heart is not always a sign of love, nor is skipping of a beat. The fluttering could be a sign that you need to pay attention to your heart. So what if your health parameters are more or less fine, but if your heart is not beating right, it is reason enough to see a doctor. Arrhythmias, also called irregular heartbeats, fluttering, palpitations, and so on, can put you in grave danger, even causing a sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, in India, we do not have a national registry for cardiac deaths, so it is difficult to predict the number of people dying due to SCDs. But a look at the macro factors removes any doubt whether Indians are at the brink of cardiac emergency. An India Spend research in the year 2016 showed cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill 1.7 million Indians every year. 

What is abnormal beating of the heart? 

Our heart beats regularly and non-stop while we are alive. It keeps on pumping blood — even when we suffer a heart attack, the pumping of blood does not stop. Our normal heart-beating rhythm is around 60 to 100 beats per minute when the body is at rest. The rhythm can vary if a person does some extra physical work, or is under the effect of some emotional or psychological stimulus. But arrhythmia is much different — it is the change in our normal heartbeat that is triggered by an alteration in the sequence of the electric impulses our heart receives. 

Vanita Arora, Director & head Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab & Arrhythmia Services, Max Super Speciality Hospital
Palpitations triggering cardiac arrest

When the heart is not functioning properly for a prolonged period of time, it gives rise to a situation that may lead to sudden cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack. A sudden cardiac arrest means that the heart has suddenly stopped functioning due to irregularity of electric impulses. A sudden cardiac arrest leads to almost instantaneous death. A person who is suffering from cardiac arrhythmia for a long time is at a high risk of cardiac arrest as the electric system of the person is not functioning properly. Some of the common symptoms of various forms of irregular heart eat include breathlessness, dizziness, fluttering in the chest or irregular heartbeats even in normal circumstances. Other symptoms include chest pain, palpitations, sweating, and confusion. In case the symptoms are detected, the patient should be taken to a cardiac specialist. 

A proper check-up from a cardiac electrophysiologist will help determine whether arrhythmia is dangerous or not. With due medications, increased physical activity, certain dietary changes, periodic monitoring of pulse, and managing risk factors can ensure a person continues to live with a healthy heart. 



Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel