Symptomatic heart palpitations during pregnancy

Patient

Q: Hi im experiencing heart palpatations and very frequent episodes of feeling light headed and dizzy, i am 20 weeks pregnant today.

Doctor

A:   Palpitations are relatively common during pregnancy, and may be related to sinus tachycardia (normal fast heart rate) or supraventricular tachycardias (these originate from the top chamber of your heart, the atria, and are not considered to be life-threatening). I would recommend a 12 lead ECG and a 24 hour Holter (heart) monitor. If these are normal and your average heart rate is well controlled I would not recommend any immediate medical intervention, as some medications can be harmful to the foetus. However if there is a significant amount of arrhythmia and your average heart rate is elevated, I recommend that you attend a cardiologist for further management.

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