Arrhythmia is a medical condition characterised by irregular heartbeats or abnormal heart rhythms. It can manifest as the heart beating too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or with an irregular pattern. Arrhythmias can occur in people of all ages, including children. In paediatric cases, arrhythmias may be congenital (present at birth) or acquired due to underlying medical conditions or medications. Diagnosing and managing arrhythmias in children is essential, as they can lead to serious health issues and potentially life-threatening situations if left untreated. Treatment may include medication or medical procedures to restore a regular heartbeat.
The causes of arrhythmias in children can vary widely, encompassing congenital heart conditions, genetic factors, metabolic imbalances, infections, and the influence of certain medications or substances. Recognising the underlying cause is a crucial first step towards effective management. When it comes to symptoms, children may not always express their discomfort clearly, making it imperative for parents and healthcare providers to be vigilant and responsive.
With the right knowledge and timely intervention, parents can help their children lead healthy and fulfilling lives, even in the face of this cardiac challenge. This article aims to provide an overview of arrhythmias in children, including their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatment options.
Arrhythmias refer to irregular heartbeats, which can occur in individuals of all ages, including children. While arrhythmias in children are rare, they can cause concern and require proper medical attention.
Infants and children: 110–120/min
Adolescents and adults: 60–80/min
When the heart rate goes above 200–220, it is abnormal.
The causes of arrhythmias are –
The symptoms of arrhythmias in children can vary depending on the type and severity of the arrhythmia. Common symptoms may include
Doctors perform a few diagnostic tests to detect arrhythmic conditions. Here is the list of diagnostic tests:
Treatment options for arrhythmias depend on the type, severity, and underlying cause of the condition. Here are some common approaches:
You can also get in touch with the expert cardiology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Arrhythmias in children can be a cause for concern, but with prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment, most children can lead normal, healthy lives. Parents and caregivers need to be vigilant about any unusual symptoms and seek medical attention when necessary. Regular follow-up with a paediatric cardiologist is crucial for managing arrhythmias in children effectively.
Q. What are the common causes of arrhythmias in children?
A. Common causes include congenital heart conditions, genetic factors, metabolic imbalances, infections, and certain medications or substances.
Q. What are the symptoms of arrhythmias in children?
A. Symptoms can vary, including palpitations, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fainting spells (syncope).
Q. How are arrhythmias in children diagnosed?
A. Diagnosis involves a physical examination, an electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter monitor or event recorder tests, and sometimes an echocardiogram to evaluate the heart’s structure and function.
Q. What are the treatment options for arrhythmias in children?
A. Treatment options include medications, cardioversion, catheter ablation, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), and sometimes surgical interventions, depending on the type and severity of the arrhythmia.
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