Critical Care: Supporting your patient through holiday heart syndrome: Excessive alcohol intake can cause dysrhythmias. Here's how to recognize trouble and respond appropriately

February 2007 
Volume 37  Number 2
Pages 64cc1 - 64cc3
  PDF Version Available!



Joni Dirks is a critical care educator at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash.

Drinking too much alcohol to celebrate the holidays or a special event can lead to more than just a morning-after hangover. Binge drinking may also produce disturbances in cardiac rhythm, even in people without underlying heart disease.

Holiday heart syndrome is the term for an acute dysrhythmia, typically supraventricular tachycardia, triggered by excessive alcohol intake in an otherwise-healthy person. Let's look at a typical case and how to respond.

Heartfelt celebration

Pale, sweaty, and smelling strongly of alcohol, Eric Jones, 30, arrives at the emergency department (ED) at 6 a.m. Saturday after celebrating all night at his best friend's bachelor party. He complains of a “fluttering feeling in my chest” ...

Purchase Now !

To purchase this item, follow the instructions below. If you’re not already logged in, be sure to enter your login information below to ensure that your item is saved to your File Drawer after you purchase it.

Not a member? Join now for Free!

1) If you're not already logged in, enter your information below to save this item in your File Drawer for future viewing.

User name:


Forgot your user name or password?
2)  If you have a coupon or promotional code, enter it
here.(If not, just click Continue.

Digital Coupon: (optional)

3)  Click Continue to go to the next screen, where
you'll enter your payment details.

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events