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Source:

Nursing2015

February 2003, Volume 33 Number 2 , p 32cc1 - 32cc4

Authors

  • DIANE M. BOSEN RN, APRN-BC, CCRN, MSN
  • MATTHEW A. FLEMMING MD

Abstract

Outline

  • Abstract

  • Drugs to regulate the rate

  • Zapping the problem

  • Pacing the beats

  • Postprocedure care

  • Assessing for complications

  • Getting back to normal

  • SELECTED REFERENCES

  • Abstract

    Find out about treatments for common arrhythmias and postprocedure patient care.

    In our previous article (January 2003), we described the electrophysiology (EP) study and how it's used to diagnose arrhythmias. In this article, we'll look at some of the treatments for arrhythmias uncovered during an EP study. Some of these treatments can be done immediately following the EP study, while the electrodes are still in place and the patient is still sedated.

    The electrophysiologist bases treatment options on the type of arrhythmia (high risk versus low risk of life-threatening rhythms), associated symptoms, patient tolerance of symptoms, and the presence of underlying cardiac disease such as cardiomyopathy or left ventricular systolic dysfunction.

    High-risk rhythms produce life-threatening symptoms, including presyncope, syncope, loss of consciousness, or sudden death (pulseless ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation). For these rhythms, the goal of therapy is to prevent biologic death.

    Low-risk rhythms may affect the patient's quality of life but aren't life-threatening. In these cases, the goal of therapy is to reduce and control symptoms.

    Treatment options for high- and low-risk arrhythmias include antiarrhythmic therapy, radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA), and device implantation. Let's look at each treatment a little closer.

    Drugs to regulate the rate

    Antiarrhythmic therapy may be used for rhythms caused by abnormal automaticity or reentry. If a rhythm responds to the drug during the EP test, the drug will probably be an effective treatment.

    Beta-blockers, ...

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