Skipping a heartbeat or racing of the heart is a very routine event in literature and usually, leads towards a happy ending. But in reality an abnormal heartbeat, if too fast to too slow, is not normal and particularly, its repeated occurrence of the same happens without a medical review, things might be just opposite of a happy ending. That is why any irregularities of the heart beat should be considered as a cardiac emergency and medical opinion and care must be sought.
Having a cardiac arrhythmia or more commonly known as irregular heartbeats and cardiac dysrhythmia is a cluster of medical conditions in which the individual experience irregular heartbeat. The normal heartbeat is calculated in terms of a number of beats in a minute. The normal range between 70 to 85 and it varies between genders. A heartbeat of 70 to 72 beats for men and 78 to 82 for women is considered as ideal. However, it does not alarm any major cardiac abnormality as long as the heartbeat ranges from 60 to 100.
A cardiac arrhythmia is of two types, either due to being too slow or too fast. Tachycardia is the condition when the heart beats too rapidly, more than 100 beats in a minute. Bradycardia is the condition when the heart beats too slowly, less than 60 beats in a minute.
Having any pre-existing heart disease, misbalance of electrolytes such as potassium or sodium in the bloodstream, an injury from a previous heart attack, change in cardiac muscle, are all the medical risk factor for having an irregular heartbeat. Being stressed, emotional or adrenalin rush might also cause an irregularity in the heartbeat but these factors are not likely to onset a cardiac arrhythmia.
Though several cardiac arrhythmias are not serious, and limits to symptoms of the same such as shortness of breath, passing out, lightheadedness, palpitation and chest pain for a small period of time. Some of them, however, can lead to complications like heart failure and stroke and can prove fatal, particularly the ones that occur repeatedly.
Thus, in case the patient is an aged individual or experiencing the same for more than a couple of time, he or she is advised to consider this as a cardiac emergency and is recommended to seek medical treatment on time. In order to keep track of the same, the use of heart monitor or pulse indicator is advised as well.