Sunday, January 15, 2006

tachycardia, sinus

Sinus tachycardia is a cardiac arrhythmia that is characterized by an atrial and ventricular rate of 100 beats per minute or more. On an EKG the P waves, which are sinus in origin, are more peaked and followed by a QRS wave. Sinus tachycardia is common among many age groups but it more prevalent in the elderly. Eighty-eight percent of people over the age of 70 have experienced sinus tachycardia. Sinus tachycardia is a normal response with strenuous exercise, fever, pain, hyperthyroidism, hemorrhage, shock, strong emotion, and anemia. Sinus tachycardia can also be associated with the ingestion of alcohol, tea, coffee, tobacco, atropine, epinephrine, or isoproterenol.
Sinus tachycardia is usually a benign rhythm, although it may be the first sign of heart failure. Symptoms of sinus tachycardia include palpitations, dizziness, and possible chest pain.
Treatment of sinus tachycardia should be aimed at controlling the underlying cause. Occasionally sedatives may be prescribed to reduce anxiety.
Phipps, W. J. et al. Medical Surgical Nursing. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1983.
Scherer, J. C. Introductory Medical-Surgical Nursing. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1982.


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