Bradycardia (ECG Rhythm Interpretation)
Now we’re going to look at bradycardia, and remember, bradycardia is a slow rhythm usually found to be under 60 beats per minute. Now, there can be many forms of bradycardia. Commonly seen blocks may include sinus bradycardia and multiple heart blocks including a complete third degree heart block. It’s vital to remember that if the bradycardia, regardless of the underlying reason, is causing the patient to display symptoms related to that bradycardia, it should be treated. Now in this case, as we look at the ECG, the rhythm is regular. The rate is slow and less than 60 beats per minute. P-waves are present and upright with a PR interval of between .12 and .20 seconds and they’re consistent.
The QRS complex is between .06 and .11 seconds and the P-wave to QRS ratio is 1 to 1. Because sinus bradycardia can result from many things, to include something as benign and routine as aerobic exercise but as pathological as structural heart disease, damage to the electrical conduction system usually related to a past heart attack, hypoxia, metabolic dysfunction and certain medications, it’s important to get a thorough patient history including a medication list and any other past medical problems. Now this being said, if the patient’s showing symptoms related to the bradycardia, we will want to treat the patient and begin asking ourselves what’s the underlying cause may be affecting this person and is that cause reversible.
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