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Arrhythmia Alliance
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Increase in heart rate

Hi, two weeks ago on retiring to bed, I lay down and felt my heart banging away, which often happens, but mostly for a few seconds, or up till then a couple of minutes. The banging carried on and on, after twenty minutes I felt cold and began to shiver, my wife got the wrist band blood pressure machine which showed my heart rate was now between 70 and 90 when normally at rest it is 40. As the symptoms still had not stopped we phoned 111 and was told to go to a&e a twenty mile drive. By the time we got there I was back to normal, but still cold. At a guess the episode lasted 45 to 55 minutes. After an hour waiting the triage nurse said my hr was 57 so back to normallish there was a six hour wait to be seen, so after seeing a doctor I opted to go home and see my doctors surgery later that day. I was then given an Omron heart rate monitor which I had to switch on put to my chest each time I had a palpation, always too late for the event I wanted to capture. Any way I was able to get many events mostly saying slow and irregular and other times suggesting I see a doctor. After a few days I handed it back, that was nine days ago, I went in to the surgery yesterday to be told the doctor would phone me as she had been on holiday. At 7 pm she phoned, having not I say NOT looked at the recordings suggesting I came in for blood tests I lost my rag with her saying that she should have looked at the results or another doctor should have, as she has had four days since being away to view the charts. When I looked at them there was very rarely any indication of a 'P' wave at all and I mentioned this to her. I have not heard back from her and it is now 11.15 am the following day. I was not actually asked to go in for the magical blood tests.

Any idea why the doctor is so unconcerned, also any idea why my heart is behaving this way? Previously my resting heart rate would go down to 29 BPM bug around a year ago it rarely goes below 40. And I have stopped feeling faint on standing, I am tall slim and sixty one, taking no medicines or caffeine or alcohol.

1 Reply


Palpitations, which you seem to be describing, are very common and seldom anything to worry about. I am 77 years old and I have had them for many years, and at times they have been so bad they have kept me awake. However, it is best to have them investigated - my own palpitations and ectopic beats turned out to be something called trifascicular block, which is seldom any trouble but which needs to be kept an eye on - eventually I may need a pacemaker. What concerns me, as a layman, is your low heart rate. The bottom end of normal is 60 bpm. A heart rate below 40 bpm ought to be investigated - it's very possible you would benefit from a pacemaker. That I believe should be your priority - you should tell your doctor of your low heart rate. Please bear in mind that I am not a doctor, but from the little I know of these things, I think it would be a good idea to have a heart rate of 40 bpm checked out.

I hope this helps,



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