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Medical Education: Cardiac Arrest and Arrhythmias

Author C. Sanders. Published on May 21, 2011 - 3:27 am (2001 views — 170 words)

Cardiac arrest is an event in which the heart abruptly stops or develops a very abnormal arrhythmia that prevents it from pumping blood. Sudden cardiac death results if treatment is not provided within a few minutes.

The term arrhythmia (ah-RITH-mee-ah) describes an abnormality, or the loss of the normal rhythm of the heartbeat.

Bradycardia (brad-ee-KAR-dee-ah) is an abnormally slow resting heart rate (brady- means slow, card means heart, and -ia means abnormal condition). This term is usually applied to rates less than 60 beats per minute. Bradycardia is the opposite of tachycardia.

Tachycardia (tack-ee-KAR-dee-ah) is an abnormally rapid resting heart rate. (tachy- means rapid, card means heart, and -ia means abnormal condition). This term is usually applied to rates greater than 100 beats per minute. Tachycardia is the opposite of Bradycardia.

Palpitation (pal-pih-TAY-shun) is a pounding or racing heart with or without irregularity in rhythm. This is associated with certain heart disorders; however, it also occurs as part of a panic attack.