The Heart Rhythm Of Sinus Tachycardia

801 words - 4 pages

It’s the big day of the finals and you are experiencing some anxiety. You walk in the classroom and feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest. This is a normal response to anxiety by the body known as sinus tachycardia. The heart is like a pump and needs to be taken care of for it to work properly. The heart has its own rhythm and on an electrocardiogram (EKG) should have a synchronous pattern called sinus. The normal sinus rhythm should be around 60-100 beats per minute (LeMone, Burke & Bauldoff, 2011). There are many factors that can change the rate and rhythm of the heart. When sleeping your heart rate tends to be slower and should be slower due to the decreased work load on the heart. Something as little as being excited or exercising can cause your heart rate to increase and due to signals to your heart telling it to beat faster to supply the body with more blood and oxygen. The heart can beat over 100 beats per minute at rest, even when supine so it is important to assess for symptoms of any complications (Olhansky & Sullivan, 2013). A normal rhythm, but faster than 100 beats per minute is called sinus tachycardia (LeMone et al., 2011).

Sinus tachycardia can be caused by different factors within the body including stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system or a blocked parasympathetic system. The autonomic nervous system which controls the heart originates in the medulla oblongata. The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous symptoms and slows the heart down. When this block of the stimulation of the nerve occurs the heart cannot slow down (Jevon, 2010). The sinoatrial or (SA) node in the heart seats the pace. With sinus tachycardia the signals are fired rapidly to the atria which in turn interferes with the SA nodes electrical signals (American Heart Association, 2013). This causes the heart rate to increase. Another cause of sinus tachycardia could be medications such as atropine and epinephrine. A change in heart rate may be and indicator of something else that is going on in the body or something that may soon follow. Sinus tachycardia can be a clue that another cardiac dysfunction is going to happen (LeMone et al., 2011).

Tachycardia has several symptoms linked to it. The patient may feel as though the heart is racing, called palpitations, or just feel a little short of breath. The patient may also feel dizzy, feel a rapid pulse and may have some chest pain...

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