I'm 21 and last night I ended up in a&e, I could feel my heart pounding through my cHest but I was sitting down not doing anything to make my heart gear up. After around 2 hours it became worse I started sweating i was struggling for breath even long inhales Didn't feel like air. Just as I got to a&e I nearly fainted and had pins and needles in my hands. It was so scary in total it lasted around 3 hours I have experienced a fast heart beat for no reason before but never to the point that it's bothered me. Anyway my blood pressure dropped whilst I was there and the doctor seems to think I have SVT but the ecg wouldn't pick anything up as I'd left it so long by the time I got to the hospital it had returned to normal leaving me quite drained. I have to have an ecg when it happens and i have to ring 999 immediately. Does this sound like SVT? I'm terrified it's going to come back it was so scary! I have a history of heart problems so I'm nervous.

9 Replies

  • Hi Xjordanenx,

    Sounds like SVT or maybe Sinus Tachycardia. Think it's SVT if pulse is over 140. It's a horrible feeling but try not to panic with it and get to A&E or GP as soon as it starts to get an ECG. Then you can get a proper diagnosis. There is treatment for this. Take care.

  • Do you have Wolffe Parkinson white Syndrome? It is a special form of SVT where you have extra electrical pathways and you can actually pass out from it your heart goes so fast. I have had 3 cardiac ablations and I think it has finally been bested unless any new pathways start. See a cardiologist to determine if that is what it is

  • I'm no expert on svt but my daughter was diagnosed with it 18 mths ago. We've had several trips to a&e. Heart can start racing for no apparent reason but since I suffer from panic attacks it indicates to me that's exactly what happened when your svt started. People don't understand the awful sensations that occur during a panic attack I'm not even sure that you have svt it might even just be a severe panic attack. Look up the symptoms. Either way there are brilliant techniques and medication available. Hope they sort you soon.

  • Hi julieswann thanks for the reply, I have suffered anxiety in the past but I had never had an episode like this. I did actually go to hospital believing it was a panic attack but with everything that was going on my pulse and blood pressure the doctors were convinced it wasn't a panic attack I was out at the time my heart started pounding actually playing bingo lol and it gradually got worse especially after i ate my dinner I was calm and relaxed and it came out of nowhere.

  • I can't offer much advice other than should this return again to get to your GP or hospital asap. 'Phone for an ambulance if that would be quicker as they are equipped with ECG machines and can record your heartbeat pattern.

    I am so sorry that you are suffering from this, and at such a young age. I appreciate how very frightening it is and send you my very best wishes for a speedy resolution to your problem.


  • Hi there,

    My son was like this from age 9, it seemed to come out of the blue one day. He had similar symptoms. Definitely call 999 if this happens again, its the fastest way to get you onto an ecg machine so that the medics can see what's happening and and get you the diagnosis you need. I know its terrifying, but please try not to panic, there is great treatment for this, it isn't life threatening and you can get on with life as normal once you know what you're dealing with. My son takes a tablet each day and this pretty much sorts him, until he grows and they increase the dosage. Good luck, and I hope you get some answers very soon.


  • That sounds like SVT to me. I suffered for 7 years with it and it would usually be 20 minute spurts with the did shorted or longer one. These never really bothered me however 3 times I had serious ones that lasted well over 2 hours. That's how frequent they were. They would make me light headed and dizzy and sometimes make my vision go strange. They would also, a difficult sensation to explain but you might've experienced it, make my chest feel empty... Like there was a big void there. If it is SVT and the doctors can catch it I would highly recommend going through the keyhole surgery option. I had it done at 14 and 5 years later have not experienced anything since. Hope this helps!

  • I'm not qualified to say but based on what you say and my own personal experiences it could be either SVT or Atrialfibrilation. I was diagnosed with and have regularly experienced both.

    SVT is a racing heart beat but the where the heart still beats in a regular rhythm. Atrialfibrilation is a very irregular beat where the heart is vibrating more than beating and is not as efficient as it should be during one of these episodes.

    Both are very scary when you get a severe episode and it can cause the patient a lot of distress and anxiety.

    A symptom of anxiety is tingling or pins or needles in the arms and legs which may explain the pins and needles. Anxiety also raises the heart beat making you feel even worse than you already do!

    Both are of these conditions can leave you feeling drained but with me I would find that SVT, while leaving me emotionally drained and a bit tired I would generally recover quite quickly after an episode. With Atrialfibrilation however I would feel very tired for a day or two.

    Unfortunately the only way to get an accurate diagnosis is to catch it in the act so to speak and that means getting an ECG done when you are having an episode.

    Ask your doctor to refer you initially to a cardiologist. They may get you to wear a monitor for a week or two in an effort to try and catch it.

    On the plus side both of these conditions (if you are otherwise fit and healthy) wont kill you. Most suffers lead very normal and active lives with their symptoms either controlled with drugs or erridcated completely with a simple minor surgical procedure called an ablation.

    That said as you read through all the information on here you will find out that these conditions can not be put in a neat little box and everybody has a different story to tell.

    This forum is great for finding information but remember you do tend to find (quite naturally) that you get more contributions from people who are having trouble with their treatment plans than those who have had the condition controlled or erridcated. They tend to dissapear and get on with their lives.

    I hope this helps a little.

    As for me, well it it took a long time to get an accurate diagnosis for me as I would keep presenting with different symptoms at different hospitals.

    My cardiologist eventually referred me to an EP (heart Dr who specialises in heart rhythm problems). I have had an Ablation to treat SVT and Flutter about a year ago which has improved things greatly. I still get episodes occasionally ( not caught them on ECG yet) but they are no where near as bad.

    If these episodes turn out to be AF then I may have to have another ablation (these conditions originate in different areas of the heart) or take a drug called Flecanide that works very well for me.

    Now remember. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. When I first came on here I was scared and suffering terribly. I did not cope with the condition well at all. The worst thing for me was the anxiety caused by wondering when it would happen again! That got worse when I came on here and read some of the stuff. By enlarge though you should find it very useful. Keep us all posted with your progress.

    Where this forum helped me the most was knowing I was not alone and in fact how common these conditions are.

    Oh and by the way, one very annoying thing I found was the way well meaning friends and relatives really do not understand. They always tell you to calm down and not get excited as if it's just some kind of panic attack lol.

  • I have had both A Fib and more recently, SVY's. One lasted around 15 minutes, so I sat and waited until it passed, the latest one was 4 days ago and came out of nowhere. A huge whack to my chest then very rapid but regular beats, I felt faint and pain in my arm, I thought it was heart attack time. I rang 999, they picked up a blip on the ECG which is always there, lots of meds in the hospital, now waiting to see what next. I already take 5mg of Bisoprolol and Ramipril so not sure if new meds needed. I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, so could be some of the reason, I also took a steroid mouthwash and antibiotics on the day so maybe they triggered it. I cannot exercise a lot as I cannot walk too far, but have given up smoking and cut down on caffeine, just to help myself as much as I can. I hate the unpredictability of these damn things and as I live remotely am afraid of getting one and passing out. I hope they can sort it soon, I found out today that my cousin gets them and my brother and nephew have heart rhythm problems too so probably genetic, not sure if that will hurry along an ablation or not. I have yet to try the holding nose thing, but next time (please God not for a long time) will. It is reassuring to know that it isn't life threatening and this site helps a lot.

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