How many afibs a minute are bad?

I can't find any data on frequency of AFIB. My attack started at 10 p.m. and it would be 6 heart beats, skip, 2 heart beats, skip, 2 heart beats, skip, 2 heart beats, skip, (3 times) and then back to 6 heart beats. It is too irritating to allow sleep and it is now 5 a.m.. I'm exhausted. I have taken a Metoprolol and my heart rate is about 65 and have taken a total of 3 aspirin during the 7 hour attack. Since food usually causes the attack I have also taken 3 doses of Pepto Bismol. Nothing is helping this time and I can't find anything on the web about when I should be concerned and seek medical help. Can someone please help?

10 Replies

  • I am suffering exactly the same as you at the minute but mine has been 19 hours to date. Dr told me yesterday to only go to hospital if I had pain or felt unwell. I have no pain but if I get up to do anything my heart goes 'loopy'. I seem to be sitting waiting for it to pass and like you didn't get any sleep last night, hope we both get into NSR soon, best wishes, Heather

  • Yes, I've heard that advice too. But what type of rhythms are you having for the past 19 hours? If I skip every 3rd heart beat is that more problematic than if I get one afib every 10 minutes (which happens every day). The frequency of afib is my big concern. When it skips every 3rd heart beat I'm almost totally incapacitated and wonder if I should be doing something about it.

  • I just did my pulse and at the minute it is weak but I have tried to count the beats. There is no organised pattern sometimes four beats then skip, then maybe three beats and skip, then maybe six, what is worrying me is the length of the skips, seems to take ages before the next beat. Seems this AF is going on for ever, longest yet!!

  • That sounds like trigeminy - there is quite a lot on the web about it and bigeminy - and I agree, very annoying but I was assured - harmless. Perhaps make a note of symptoms and the length of time they last and talk to your doctor.

    (posted to john before I saw yours gemsmum)

  • You might consider trying motherwort liquid - 2-3 dropperfuls during an attack. Works for me and others. Relief in 10-15m. Be sure to run by DR.

    One of many sites.

  • That sounds a bit like ectopics, especially the organised quality of the arrhythmia. It doesn't make it any easier to cope with than AF but there are breathing techniques for ectopics which may help. A recent post on ectopics has a link and some advice.

    Advice about medical help is usually a personal thing but general rule of thumb is pain, collapse or feeling faint are the usual guidelines.

    PS - if they are ectopic beats, my EP was not worried at all by a similar behaviour my heart produced - all of them PVC's. Best wishes.

  • That doesn't sound like AF to me more likely ectopics which whilst irritating ( I've been there so I know, ) not dangerous in anyway. Why not see your Dr and get an ECG done so you know what is happening.

  • The pulse described is just like mine, but I'm told it's ectopics. Mine are constant so needed controlling and I could get what seemed to me like clusters. My drugs are controlling them and I don't get much now and my pulse seems fairly normal and strong.

  • I suffered from these a lot, extremely uncomfortable, and anxiety provoking, either way you loose out on sleep. I eventually, relied on the length of episodes and the heart rate of pulse or ecg TOGETHER, to work out if I needed help from the paramedics, over 150 peaking at 180 and, over a period of 3hrs after doing deep breathing and all maneuvers etc, I took an extra half of medication, if this didn't work then my toleration point had been reached and I decided I needed help especially at night, as I live on my own, fortunately this worked most of the time.

    Taking any extra medication was discussed first with my GP and Cardiologist. For me It could go into runs of AF which to me meant it had set in for a good while and was not so good.

    There is no comparison as to what is the worst type of arrhythmia anyone can tolerate, everybody is different. I had 3 types of arrhythmia which seemed to morph into each other. Metoprolol has a 6-8hr body life so I figured half of my normal dose, was not overdoing it.

    Toleration & Heart Rate are different to Beats per minute. The pause of a total of 5 beats was considered serious, so I was told by my Cardiologist. I used to get 3.5 pauses at times which I attributed to the medication, I was quite concerned about this, regardless of what was considered serious, by the Heart specialists, so maybe check your medication side effects with your EP.

  • This post caught my eye so too a look before got going with other stuff.

    We are all very different and I am sure its not the same for all of us.

    My thoughts , though were same as others and that what is descibed is more likely to be ectopics . I thought i would my comments based on recent checks

    and tests at Papworth on Monday. So based on that Id go along with the suggestion for others that the problem here is ectopic not AF

    I was told that during exercise the ectopics worsened as did the BP.

    Left me breathless long before I should have been. The aim purpose was to check out a dodgy valve which seemed to work well enough under load as not.

    They described my beat pretty much as much jamaicajohn has mentioned in his post. I was told it was ectopic and that the rhythm itself is in sinus.

    Its just slow and misses every few beats .

    The fun is they are still looking for the cause

    we cn only recount our own experiences so if worried I reckon its best to get checked out by an expert.

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