Hi all. Earlier on I was checking my pulse through a blood pressure machine as I felt a little funny. The rate wasn't fast at all, around 85 if I remember rightly, but the machine picked up three rapid beats one after the other. I'm assuming I'd just experienced a 'triplet'. I've heard these can be quite nasty, but could I have just been experiencing a bit of an AF episode? Does anyone else on here experience triplets at all?

Side note: every time I've taken my blood pressure, the values on my right arm are always far higher than my left, by about 20 points. When I took it earlier, my right arm was 154/86 and my left was 133/69. Done some light research on this and it's considered to be a bad sign. Anyone else noticed this problem also? 


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  • Yes. I very often get these. Sometimes I do wonder if I'm going to flip into AF but it had rarely happened this way.

    I would just ignore them. We are just highly tuned into our hearts activities.


  • I've never noticed it before. I'm so confused because it's been many months now and I still don't know what's wrong with me really, and it's extremely hard to get in contact with my consultant ( virtually impossible actually). I'm at a loss and have no idea what to do. 

  • No idea what a triplet is but I hope they are not nasty because I have triplets, quads and even quintuplets! If by that you simply mean a few rapid beats in between the normal rate ones. I assumed it was a short burst of  tachycardia, when I went for my post ablation checkup my cardiologist said not to worry about any funnies as long as they aren't sustained. I think you are talking about bigeminy and trigeminy?

  • Triplets and couplets are different to bigeminy and trigeminy, they mean that the heart skips a beat every second or third beat, respectively. Triplets are three consecutive PVC's. I've read about it and there's a great deal of contradictory literature regarding them; some people class them as benign whereas others regard them as a run of ventricular tachycardia, which is pretty nasty, it's got me very confused and frightened.

  • micwal - unsustained VT is defined as a run of 3 or more PVC's and like you I worried (needlessly as it turned out) about some that were picked up on a Holter monitor.  My EP noted them but said that there could be some doubt about whether or not it was unsustained VT and they were more likely to have been SVT with aberrant conduction which didn't seem to worry him at all.

    I had about 11 of them in a row at 200bpm followed by NSR and it felt very unpleasant but it never happened again, thank goodness.

    You're right about conflicting info on them - in otherwise healthy people, I've read that they are benign and I seem to be proof of that.  


  • I understand the worry, I thought I was getting better. It always seems to be one step forward, then two steps back with me. I wish I could just talk to my consultant about it, but it is literally almost impossible to get in contact with him directly. Even his secretary cannot get in touch with him. I feel like I need more testing to rule out other conditions, due to my symptoms, but also feel like I'm being thrown under the bus a little because I receive virtually no support at all from anyone within the NHS.

  • Sorry can't comment on triplets.  With regards to bp being very different in both arms. I mentioned this to my GP when I had been with something different.  She did not seem very concerned.  She suggested I go back and she will take my bp in both arms in different positions and if she thought it necessary will send me for more tests.

  • Same with me on the BP front. My GP doesn't understand it. Plan to ask my EP when next I see him.

  • I have just taken readings on both wrists ( for the first time ever )  The results were virtually identical.  I was surprised, having read the above posts as I have odaema in my left arm due to radiotherapy.

    At least I can get one thing right !

  • Jenny

    Have you had radiotherapy for breast cancer, if you have you should not take your blood pressure on the affected side or blood test.   Can cause odema I think.   

  • Hi Cassie,

    I had malignant melanoma on a mole on my left arm. It spread to the glands  under my arm. Ironic, but a warning to others, I had never sunbathed in my life. Anyway I had very aggressive radiotherapy which has damaged my shoulder and heart.

    I use a wrist monitor for bp checks. My left arm is never used for anything. I certainly could not tolerate an upper arm check.

    I have recently seen advice that anyone undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer should hold their breath during treatment to prevent damage to the heart.

    Thank you for your excellent advice.

    Best wishes.

  • Hi Jennydog

    My radiotherapy was on the right side, so did not affect my heart.   I donn't know about holding your breath, would n ot have been able to do that, took too long, it was bad enough keeping still!

  • Those triplets aren't pleasant are they? I too, have different bp readings in both arms. I told the nurse and she said she had heard of that happening but didn't know why. She didn't seem worried about it so I decided not to be worried would be good to know why it happens though.

  • My consultant always checks left and right arm, sitting and then standing.  He's always said I'm ok with left usually about 10 - 15 points higher. 

  • You had triplets?  Did you name them?

    That's not completely tongue-in-cheek.  I used to name my fibrillations (paroxysmal).  "Ah, Willard, I see you're back.  Oops, sorry, you're Aloysius.  You guys really need to wear different hats."  I would get such a kick out of it that I'd miss the moment I went back into NSR.

    The next time you're in a clinic, you might want to have the nurse or tech take your BP in both arms - twice, to give you a chance to relax so "white coat hypertension" doesn't influence the readings.

  • Did an online lookup of differing blood pressures in right and left arms -- 

    definitely it sounds as though a difference of 10 points or more should be checked out by a knowledgeable professional.  

    Of course, blood pressure readings can vary within minutes -- so you can double check to see if the difference remains.

  • I went to my GP the other day, they took my blood pressure and it was normal (125/75 or thereabouts) and exactly the same in both arms. Maybe the machine I was using is faulty in some way?

  • It is possible. Can you get your blood pressure checked again elsewhere to be sure?

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