Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ok. Here's the break down

Ok, sorry for the delay. Let me take a few minutes to explain what happened.

Well Friday morning my day started as usual, and shortly after breakfast I began to feel palpatations. My heart was beating abnormally fast for no apparent reason at all. This wasn't however the first time it's occurred. It usually comes and goes in a minute or two. I waited for about 15 minutes before enlisting my fellow EMT's for help. We weren't able to get an actual pulse because the beats were too frequent and weak to count. That's when we summoned a paramedic to get me on a monitor and try to get it. When he did, it read 260 and said I was either in AFib or SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). He immediately radioed for help. Lucky for me I was in the garage when a few of the crews were turning out and ready to start their day. Little did I know, rather than dispatching them to an emergency, I was going to require their help to save my own life today.

In a matter of minutes, maybe seconds I was surrounded by colleague's all trying to help. Their attempts to stabilize me were unsuccessful and chose to "load and go" to the nearest hospital. The nearest hospital just so happens to have one of the worse reputation in the city, however I knew most of the staff from doing my own ER rotations. As soon as I arrived I was greeted by familiar faces that recognized me and cared for me as one of their own. Dr McPherson (who did a number on my brachial artery) immediately mumbled a personal joke between the two of us, and shortly after injected the Adenosine I needed to force my heart into a normal rhythm again.

Shortly after my friend Kim made a call to admitting and told them that they had a staff member that was to be admitted to the Telemetry unit. I kid you not, Kim had a bed for me in less than 10 minutes. I was a patient at Brookdale before, I waited nearly 15 hours for a bed to become avail. Even the nurses were surprised at how quickly I was "processed". While an impatient, I was was treated by the chief of cardiology for both Brookdale as well as Downstate University. She suspects that the SVT was caused by AV Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia. A rapid heart rate due to more than one pathway through the AV node. It can cause heart palpatations, fainting or heart failure.

On Friday I will have a procedure done to attempt to eliminate the source of the extra signal to the AV node. They will be inserting catherters into my heart otherwise known as Cardiac Ablation in which they will induce the Tachycardia, locate the re-entrant and ablate or burn it. This will hopefully fix the problem. It does carry some risks, of course there's the risk of injury to the arteries that they use to insert the catheters and the heart tissue its self their burning. But most of all the biggest risk is if they accidentally burn the good source, then my heart will need a pacemaker to transmit the signal to the Av node to tell it to beat.

All in all, its technically a minimally invasive procedure, with some risks. But the biggest risk would be to do nothing and wait for this to happen again.

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