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The Electrical System and Arrhythmia
A healthy heart has a regular beat. This rhythmic contracting (beating of the heart) is controlled by an electrical system that sends electrical signals throughout the heart. Click here to see how it works.
Problems with the electrical system of your heart are commonly known as arrhythmia.
If the electrical system of your heart is diseased, injured or not developed in the usual way, you may have an arrythmia. Arrhythmias come in two: groups.
Fast heart rhythms are called tachycardias. Tachycardia is a heart rhythm that beats more than 100 times per minute. A tachycardia may begin in the atria (upper heart chambers), the sinoatrial node (AV node) or in the ventricles (lower heart chambers). Because the ventricles are responsible for pumping blood to the lungs and the body, fast heart rhythms in the ventricles are generally more serious.
Bradycardia is a slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute. When you suffer from bradycardia, your sinus node, which starts each normal heartbeat, fails to trigger the electrical signals as it should. It may not start the heartbeat often enough, it may skip or miss some of the heartbeats, or it may send too many heartbeats. The heart may beat too slowly, or it may alternate between too slow and too fast.