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What does episodes of breathlessness and palpitations suggest?

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Posted on Thu, 14 May 2015
Question: I felt like if I suddenly lost all my breath, like a balloon and I can't breath quickly. Felt like the heart stop and start again while my pulse get from the lows 60 to a 100 in on second. The duration of This episode was like 2-3 seconds but I feel like a life! I'm so scared
doctor
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil (51 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
EKG to rule out rhythm abnormalities, further explanation in the answer

Detailed Answer:
Hello and Welcome

I appreciate your concern

Based on the information you provided, you should get a cardiac evaluation done especially if you feel that your pulse has irregular patterns. An E.R visit would be advised. It could be a panic attack triggered by a stressful episode. The acute dyspnea or shortness of breath you described may also be due to an asthma or COPD exacerbating episode. But the cardiac rhythm abnormalities should be looked for , first. Get an EKG done. If the EKG shows normal sinus rhythm with no or slight tachycardia ( i.e an increased heart rate ) then most likely there is no serious issue related to the heart rhythm. ABGs, X ray chest and pulmonary function tests would be required subsequently based on the clinical findings. Based on the clinical presentation, ABGs and pulse oximetery findings supplemental O2, nebulization with ipratropium bromide can be done , initially to relieve any persistent dyspnea and treat any hypoxia, if present. The limbs should be checked for any swelling and if relevant a Doppler U/S of the lower limbs and V/Q perfusion scan or CT angiogram can be considered to rule out any pulmonary embolism. All these investigations can be ordered by your local doctor or via referral to a cardiologist or pulmonologist.

Wishing you best of health

Thanks

Please consult your doctor before deciding on any further course of action.

Dr. M.S. Khalil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Pradeep Vitta
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Follow up: Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil (11 hours later)
Negative ekg
Echo shows a mild MVProlapse
Dr says its no necesaary to rule out pulmonary embolism. But why infelt this suddenly shortness of breath? Do i need tonask for it nonmatter the dr understand was not necesarry?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Explained

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

I wouldn't want to substitute your doctor's opinion as he would have a much better idea having first hand experience of your symptoms and overall condition. You may ask for at least a Doppler ultrasound of the lower limbs to rule out a DVT. I explained the most likely causes that could be associated with the acute shortness of breath in the previous answer. If the EKG is negative and there is mild MVP then a pulmonologist should be consulted for future workup and to decide on whether to test for thromboembolic disease.

Wishing you best of health.

Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar
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Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 2907 Questions

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What does episodes of breathlessness and palpitations suggest?

Brief Answer: EKG to rule out rhythm abnormalities, further explanation in the answer Detailed Answer: Hello and Welcome I appreciate your concern Based on the information you provided, you should get a cardiac evaluation done especially if you feel that your pulse has irregular patterns. An E.R visit would be advised. It could be a panic attack triggered by a stressful episode. The acute dyspnea or shortness of breath you described may also be due to an asthma or COPD exacerbating episode. But the cardiac rhythm abnormalities should be looked for , first. Get an EKG done. If the EKG shows normal sinus rhythm with no or slight tachycardia ( i.e an increased heart rate ) then most likely there is no serious issue related to the heart rhythm. ABGs, X ray chest and pulmonary function tests would be required subsequently based on the clinical findings. Based on the clinical presentation, ABGs and pulse oximetery findings supplemental O2, nebulization with ipratropium bromide can be done , initially to relieve any persistent dyspnea and treat any hypoxia, if present. The limbs should be checked for any swelling and if relevant a Doppler U/S of the lower limbs and V/Q perfusion scan or CT angiogram can be considered to rule out any pulmonary embolism. All these investigations can be ordered by your local doctor or via referral to a cardiologist or pulmonologist. Wishing you best of health Thanks Please consult your doctor before deciding on any further course of action. Dr. M.S. Khalil