Pixie5545
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Pixie5545, June 7,  2018  2:49pm EST

Heart rate during an Afib episode

When in Afib, I was told to take my heart rate once an hour (a 1 minute read) and if was 110 or more for 4 hours to call the clinic.  My husband uses a stethoscope to check this hourly.  I don’t understand how that 1 minute reading per hour gives me a good feel on whether rate control is working for me,  I rarely had a reading over 110.  I had a holter monitor recently and it showed a rate of 150.  I was stunned by that number,because we never got close to that.  Obviously rate control is not working and I thought it was.    How are you recording your heart rate during an episode.  I am so upset about this and don’t even know what to ask my EP anymore!

4 Replies
  • Jeanamo815
    Jeanamo815, June 7,  2018  3:29pm EST

    I have always checked my heart rate with my blood pressure monitor.  If you do not have one, there are good ones available at a pharmacy or on Amazon.   I was once told that if my heart rate stayed at 140 or more after taking an extra rate control pill (beta blocker) and continued at that rate for a while, then I should go to the ER.  There was almost never any time that I was in a-fib that my heart rate did not get really fast.  I had to go to the emergency room because it would be as fast as 200- 250 BPM.  A few times it came down after taking an extra pill so that I did not have to go to the ER.  You can have your blood pressure monitor checked (take it with you) when you see your doctor to be sure you are getting accurate readings...the same as in the doctor's office.  i've had 3 ablations and the last one has kept me in normal sinus rhythm so that I no longer am taking a rate or rhythm control medicine.  I do still take Eliquis in case the a-fib comes back...and I will continue to do so.

    You may want to ask your EP about when you should be concerned about your heart rate...what to do when it is fast...and at what point you may need to go to the ER. Some people try to "ride it out" longer than others do.  Mine would be so fast, I never really had a choice.

    Wishing you the best,

    Jean

    (My A-fib Experience Community Leader)

  • Edhammer
    Edhammer, June 8,  2018  12:13pm EST

    I have an app for you phone called heart rate pro which does a pretty good job of taking my pulse. I’m one of those who has had the good fortune to ride out many episodes. My cardiologist and EP both agreed that as long as my heart rate was less than 140-150, I had no chest pains, didn’t pass out, etc. and didn’t last more than 8-10 hours, I could ride it out. My rate hardly ever goes above 140. The highest it’s registered was 173 at the ER. I’m on anticoagulants and rate control. I had an ablation 3 weeks ago and have had 2 minor episodes, which were not unexpected.

    talk to your EP or EP nurse.

    good luck

  • Spencer
    Spencer, June 8,  2018  3:30pm EST

    I wish that I had that heart rate when I was in AFib.  My limits were SVt > 2 Hrs with HR >200, or AFib for 6 hours with HHR >180.  I commonly every day see my HR north of 180, especially when I climb a flight of stairs.    My rate control drugs didn't do anything at for me.  

    My recording regime is daily EKG via Kardia and then hourly if I am in AFib.

    Are you using a Kardia EKG?

    Spencer.

  • Edhammer
    Edhammer, June 8,  2018  5:49pm EST

    I just got a Fitbit last week that seems to do a good job with rate. Fortunately, I haven't had a episode since I got it, so I can't prove that it's working. It is clueing me in on some post ablation increased rate with exercise. Before ablation, seldom above 85 or so. Now the FItbit is saying high 90's low 100's, which doesn't come close to Spencer's rate..... there's a competition no one wants to win.

    I can understand Pixie's concern. Big difference between 100bpm and 150bpm. If I continue to have episodes after this ablation is healed, i might well invest in that Kardia device. It seems that folks that use it are satisfied with its performance. My suggestion about talking to the EP or EP nurse might help clear up some of your concerns.  

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