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Heart Rhythm Disorders (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Most people have noticed their heart racing, a fluttering in the chest, or a sensation that the heart skipped a beat. If this happens once, or very infrequently, with no other symptoms, it is usually not serious and medical care is usually not needed. However, any questions or concerns should be discussed with a health care professional. If the person is prescribed a medication, the health care professional should also be notified if a recommended treatment does not alleviate the symptoms.

More serious symptoms should be evaluated immediately at the nearest hospital emergency department. These symptoms include:

  • Any unexplained shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Light-headedness or feeling faint
  • Feeling that the heart is beating too slowly or too quickly
  • Chest pain with normal activity
  • Chest pain with any of the above symptoms

People experiencing these symptoms should not drive to the emergency department. They should call 9-1-1 for emergency medical transport.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/26/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Heart Rhythm Disorders (Arrhythmias):

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