Ventricular tachycardia is an illness caused by fast heart rhythm in one of the heart’s ventricles. This type of arrhythmia can be dangerous and even life-threatening because it can cause asystole, ventricular fibrillation and even sudden death. Ventricular tachycardia, like mentioned above, originates in one of the heart’s ventricles, which are responsible with pumping blood in the heart and from there to the rest of the body.
There are several ways to classify ventricular tachycardia, such as morphology or based on the duration of the episodes. From a morphological point of view, ventricular tachycardia can be divided into monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, scar related monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and RVOT tachycardia. The second type of tachycardia mentioned here is the most common, especially with patients who have already suffered from a heart attack and it can also lead to death. Based on the duration, ventricular tachycardia can be divided into two types: non-sustained ventricular tachycardia if the fast rhythm ends itself within thirty seconds and sustained ventricular tachycardia if the rhythm lasts longer than thirty seconds.
Determining what causes is can be very complicated and requires the input of a specialized doctor and several tests, the most common of which is effectuated with the help of an EKG. The manifestations of ventricular tachycardia can be very subtle and difficult to differentiate between the normal rhythms of the heart; moreover, distinguishing between a type of tachycardia and another is a very delicate job as well, requiring lots of care, attention and skill on behalf of the physician in charge.
In simpler words, the way ventricular tachycardia is diagnosed is by analyzing the rhythm the physician observes on a telemetry rhythm strip or on a basic 12 lead EKG. Diagnosis must also be done while fully aware of the patient’s medical history, especially if they have suffered of congestive heart failure, angina or myocardial infarction. An incomplete or wrong diagnosis can have severe effects on the patient’s life. Treatments for this affliction will vary depending on the precise problem of the patient, the state of his health, the type of tachycardia, age, gender and so on, so that the treatment is personalized. In grave cases where immediate reaction is needed, ventricular fibrillation will be applied, at least if the patient still has a pulse. There are also external defibrillators which, together with injected medicine can stabilize the patient’s condition until surgery or other treatments can be applied.
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