Thanks for writing in.
Your wife probably has an arrhythmia
which is originating above the AV node. This node connects the atria above and the ventricles below ( 2 chambers of the heart). Typically, an electrical impulse will travel from the atria to the ventricles through the AV node.
There are several ways in which the heart rate
can be controlled in this condition. These are known as vagal maneuvers and would help control the symptoms. There are several maneuvers and any one of them can be employed to control the heart rate:
a. Valsalva's maneuver: She needs to inhale and hold her breath and:
- Bear down as if to have a bowel movement, and to hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
- Blow forcefully through a straw for as long as possible (at least 20 seconds)
This needs to be done only till the heart rate gets controlled. DO NOT DO THIS EXCESSIVELY. IT CAN LEAD TO A VERY LOW HEART RATE AND FAINTING
b. Carotid sinus
massage: The technique which needs to be followed is :
Apply gentle and steady pressure over the right carotid sinus and hold for 5-10 seconds.
Gentle and steadily massage motion over the right carotid sinus for 5-10 seconds. DO NOT DO THIS EXCESSIVELY. IT CAN LEAD TO A VERY LOW HEART RATE AND FAINTING
c. Immerse her face in cold
water. DO NOT DO THIS EXCESSIVELY. IT CAN LEAD TO A VERY LOW HEART RATE AND FAINTING
The exact cause needs to be identified for proper treatment to be instituted.
Hope this helps.