Third Degree Heart Block

The third degree heart block is the final sequence of a much bigger problem. Usually the heart’s electrical system has been failing and has been unnoticed. The hearts’ rhythm is extremely slow and some people just feel dizzy, but you could also have been passing out from time to time. It is like having two separate hearts the atria and the ventricles are beating as two different hearts. The top part of the heart beats normally around 60 to 90 beats per minute, but the bottom part, the part that feeds us, beats around 25 to 35 beats per minute. When the body's needs of energy, or of nutrients, or of oxygen are not met, then you will not be feeling too well.

Notice the P waves and the QRS complex are completely disassociated from each other and the P waves seem to march right through the QRS complex. That is the tell tale sign of a third degree block, complete disassociation. The top beats normally and the bottom extremely slow.

Drugs and medication can cause third degree blocks, but usually it has been a long time in coming. First it started with the first degree AV block then progressed to the second degree AV block and resulting in the complete heart block. Make sure you family doctor knows all the medications and drugs you are taking. Since some drug interactions can cause the block.

Since it causes symptoms 90% of the time, then emergency doctors would have to put pacer pads on the chest to pace the heart through the skin. Since this can cause mild discomfort it is only done when there is no other option or until internal pacing can be implemented. Internal pacing is achieved by inserting a wire into the artery of the arm or neck and feed to the heart where they begin increasing the heart rate with small doses of electricity (smaller than you can feel it). This type is well tolerated by patients and will usually do until a permanent pace maker can be implanted.

Complete heart blocks can be life threatening if left untreated. Be proactive with your health and seek out medical advice and don’t leave anything to chance.

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