What does rapid heartbeat mean?

Not Medical Advice: A heart rate of over 100 beats per minute (BPM) in adults is called tachycardia. A healthy adult heart usually beats 60 to 100 times a minute when a person is at rest. If you have tachycardia, the rate in the lower chambers or upper chambers of the heart, or both, are increased significantly.

When your heart's rate is too fast, it may not effectively pump blood to the rest of your body, depriving your organs and tissues of oxygen. This can cause these tachycardia symptoms: shortness of breath; dizziness; lightheadedness; rapid pulse rate; heart palpitations — a racing, uncomfortable or irregular heartbeat or a sensation of "flopping" in the chest; chest pain; and fainting (syncope).

However, some people with tachycardia have no symptoms, and the disorder is only discovered during a physical examination or with a heart-monitoring test called an electrocardiogram.

Of interest, treating tachycardia in septic shock cases is controversial and norepinephrine remains the standard of care for sepsis-related hypotension. Find out more here.

Updated on Friday, February 21 2014 at 02:41AM EST
Collection: heartbeat