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Thread: low heart rate

  1. #1

    low heart rate

    Just recently my doc referred me to a cardioligst who ran a halter moniter test, he then told me my pulse rate dropped to as low as 30 pbm and said I needed a pace maker, now being a C6-7 I am a little concerned about my bouts with Dysreflectia or if this is normal to have as low heart rate I've been in the chair for 28 years and have been having trouble with low blood pressure as well, dizziness is far more frequent as before. I could really use some advice.

  2. #2
    While autonomic dysreflexia (AD) can cause a low heart rate in some, unless your blood pressure is elevated at least 40 mm. Hg. over your usual baseline, it is not considered AD. Were you having AD symptoms during your halter study?

    If you have a brady arrthymia it is also possible that this is making your usual lower blood pressure lower, and causing your increased dizziness.

    What type of arrthymia did your physician say you have (such as a bundle branch block, AV conduction block, etc.)??? These types of arrthymias are more common with aging. A pacemaker is commonly needed. It is not a very involved or complex surgery, and could take care of both the slow pulse and dizziness. Do you have any other known heart problelms?


  3. #3

    low heart rate

    I had no AD at time of testing, doctor called it Bradycardia I believe and I've had no signs of dizzyness prior to a fainting spell in July now it wont quit I'm in a fog everyday and my B/P is running lower than usual constantly.

  4. #4
    Bradycardia just means slow pulse. It does not indicate the type of arrthymia. Ask more questions of the cardiologist to get the specifics, but it does sound like you would benefit from the pacemaker.


  5. #5
    As KLD said, implanting a pacemaker is a relatively simple operation; you would be in the hospital for only a few hours.

    The choice of a pacemaker for a tetraplegic is an interesting problem. Many (most) modern pacemakers adjust their pacing rate dependent on the patient's requirements from minute to minute. Most of those base the rate on the patient's activity, e.g., walking, running, etc. Or, possibly more appropriately for your case, upper body activity, such as pushing a wheelchair. Naturally, if you use a power chair, the latter would be inapplicable, and some 90% of the pacemakers on the market may not be the best choice for you. Other types base their pacing rate on your breathing rate (minute volume) or the heart's Q-T interval, and yet another bases it on the contractility of the heart - the last type (reference to a VA case study on application in a case of SCI) will modify its pacing rate even depending on your emotional state (using CLS, or "closed loop rate stimulation," and so might be most appropriate for a tetraplegic.
    - Richard

  6. #6
    Upon speaking with the cardioligst he stated bradycardia is the type of arrthymia that I have a slow heart rate so as far as a specific arrthymia this is what they say, any ideas?

  7. #7
    Hard to say for certain, there are still a number of possible variations on the bradycardia theme. But, regardless of the details, it does sound like a pacer may be the way for you to go. Show the doc the reference I gave you.
    - Richard

  8. #8
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    On a somewhat related topic, I get an afternoon aide paid for by my county. The other day, they sent a nurse to check me, find out how I get along with the aide, etc. (standard stuff - seems all agencies do this to keep an eye on patients' health.) Anyhoo, she took my blood pressure - 86/40. She looked at the gauge, looked at me, looked at the gauge again, and asked me if I was feeling dizzy or lightheaded. I said no, low blood pressure when seated is normal for me since my SCI (laying down BP is near normal.) She had a hard time believing I didn't feel faint, but I finally convinced her.

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

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