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Can someone explain v-fib?

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Dolly W Find out more about Dolly W
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  • Can someone explain v-fib?


    Hi All,

    Got in from the hospital ER earlier and came right to the site. It looks great!

    I was in ER all night with v-fib and v-tach. It seemed that I went from from one to the other, is that possible? I also experienced multiple pvc's accompanied by mild chest pain and headache/tingling in head. Oh yeah, and my troponin level (cardiac enzyme) was mildly elevated. Despite all of this, I was discharged 14 hours later and told to follow up with my regular cardiologist.

    Am I over reacting to be concerned about this? I'm still experiencing the symptoms, but not sure if I should go back to ER. Besides the fact that I practically have to argue with the MD on call to get them to listen to me.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

  • #2
    This is serious stuff Dolly.
    V-Tach in itself many be an indication for a defib. and can happen and you may feel fine rather quickly. v-Tack can turn into V-Fib and this is REALLY dangerous and I must wonder if you we in V-fib or A-Fib???
    I find it hard to imagine that they would let you go home if you had been in V-Fib.?
    I will be in the HCMA office on saturday morning and would like to talk to you more about this.
    For now if you are still having symptoms PLEASE call the doctor or return to the ER.
    Stay well,
    Lisa Salberg
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Lisa,

      I will give you a call on Saturday (if I'm not back at hospital).
      HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

      Comment


      • #4
        vfib

        Dear Dolly,

        Vfib is usually fatal, unless it is converted immediately. I think you must have been having vtach and Afib ---yes? Otherwise they would have been defibrillating you over and over. And I don't think they would have let you out of the hospital.

        Vfib (ventricullar fibrillation) is when the bottom half of the heart is quivering instead of beating. Afib is when the top half of the heart is starting the heart beat so the top half is beating randomly. The atria were not designed to govern your rhythm, so they do it poorly.

        But yes, if you feel bad again, go to the ER if your doctor is not helping. Sounds like you need a new doctor!

        S

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Dolly, anything with a V is potentially dangerous, you need to go see your HCM doc ASAP.
          Every great thing that has ever happened since the beginning of time has started as a single thought in someones mind.
          So if you are capable of thought then you are capable of great things
          Good luck and stay well.
          Glen

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Sarah and Glen for your response and concern.

            Sarah, let me explain that I was at the local Charity Hospital in New Orleans. I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but it's VERY busy and a learning hospital. So, they pretty much had NO clue of what HCM is and when I told them that I had three angiograms in 2002, they didn't believe me. They asked if I had blockages. When I told them no, they asked why I had so many angiograms. I tried to explain that one was EP study and one was looking for obstruction. The MD got an attitude and said that's the same as blockage! So I got an attitude right back and said NO, it's NOT!

            Finally, they listened to me and were amazed that I knew so much about this condition. I told them that I had to stay informed because THEY did not see this condition every day and knew so little about it! I hate to say it, but I think that they discharged me prematurely.

            So, now I'm a little confused. I know that my heart rate was going up and down like a yo yo. I have been experiencing headaches and was wondering if the rise in HR could cause this (my BP has been normal). I wasn't able to get an appt. with my cardiologist till NEXT Thursday! She is aware of my trip to the ER so I was a little disappointed that I couldn't see her sooner. Maybe I will call her office again today.

            Thanks for listening and for all of your help!
            HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

            Comment


            • #7
              angiogram

              Dear Dolly,

              I know why they were a little confused, in part. Angiogram is a very specific test. Both angiograms and EP studies require a catheterization to be performed. So you had 3 catheterizations in 2002, not all angiograms. An angiogram just looks for clogged arteries.

              Medical terminiology is very tricky and I hope to get a glossary up on the site soon.

              S

              Comment


              • #8
                Good News!

                Thanks Sarah, for straightening me out on the angiogram/catherization thing. It makes sense as to why they were confused! I was also a little distracted, because they were starting my IV as I was trying to explain, so I didn't do a very good job of it.

                So, the good news is, I was able to see my regular cardiologist this afternoon, and she gave me the all clear! She said the only thing that we have to watch now is that I'm having so many pvc's. She scheduled me for another holter monitor and increased my atenolol to 100mg/twice a day. She also said if I continue to show multiple pvc's, that I may want to consider having another EP study done.

                I feel a little more secure now that I've seen her and she reassured me that I'm NOT in v-fib!

                Thanks guys for all your help!
                HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

                Comment


                • #9
                  but why?

                  Dear Dolly,

                  Yes, we are all glad you are not in vfib!!!

                  However, I'm curious as to why they would do another EP study. What for? If they think you are an ICD candidate, then you need to address that. It sounds like you really need to be seeing a specialist. I know it sounds very expensive, but once the decision is made, there are ways of making it work out. THe HCMA can give you lots of advice on getting to a specialist without breaking the bank.

                  Take care,

                  S

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sarah,

                    You mentioned that if they thought I was an ICD candidate, to address that. How do I go about that? I thought that an EP study was one of the ways to determine need for ICD. I'd much rather NOT have another EP study done if I can get away with it.
                    HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dolly,

                      An EP study on people with HCM seems to be of minimal value. If you didn't have HCM, it would be more prudent to use the EP study to determine whether or not you are a candidate for the ICD.

                      Reenie
                      Reenie

                      ****************
                      Husband has HCM.
                      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Reenie,

                        So what test would they use? I'd like to know so that if my cardio recommends something, I'll know whether or not to follow up on it. I had so many tests done last year; I'm tired of being a pin cushion and want to keep the testing to a minimum.

                        Thanks again
                        HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dolly,

                          Well, I think they usually go on the indicators for HCM instead of the typical EP study they would do if you had had a couple of heart attacks.

                          1) history of syncope - fainting
                          2) family history of sudden death
                          3) septal thickness
                          4) findings from holters such as the v-tach that you've experienced
                          5) adverse reaction to stress tests

                          Your heart rate and blood pressure should rise accordingly during a stress test. If it fails to rise, rises then drops, or rises to a certain place then stops, the doctors will consider that an adverse reaction. Keep in mind that your meds will keep the heart rate and blood pressure lower than any guy off the street taking the same test.

                          Dolly, I really think you should talk to your doctor about why they want you to have the EP study. They should be asking about those indicators for HCM and ICD's. My husband had his ICD placed on septal thickness alone, although I think that's unusual. But at the time, his doctor thought his septal thickness was 5.2 cm. We aren't sure, but his last echo showed 3.8 cm. Either way, it's pretty big.

                          Good luck and please talk to your doc again. Let us know what we can do for you.

                          Reenie
                          Reenie

                          ****************
                          Husband has HCM.
                          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Right on, Reenie...

                            Once again, Reenie is exactly right.

                            Dolly, there is no test for ICD placement need. There are the risk factors Reenie listed. The more you have, the higher your risk and the higher the need for an ICD.

                            Sometimes, as in Reenie's husband's case, 1 factor is so "big" that it creates the need by itself. Having a lot of vtach can sometimes get you an ICD all by itself. If you haven't had a recent stress test, that would be the only test I would recommend. Otherwise, an EP study is not going to tell you anything you don't already know.

                            I hope this clears things up.

                            S

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks SO much! I did NOT want to do another EP study. I don't want to do much of anything right now if I don't have to. But I can handle a stress test if need be. I'll be to inform my cardio that EP study is not necessary.

                              Thanks again!
                              HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

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