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Arrhythmias are abnormal rhythms of the heart and cause the heart to pump blood less effectively. Most cardiac arrhythmias are temporary and benign, often caused by strong emotions or exercise. Nonetheless, some arrhythmias may be life-threatening and require treatment.
During a 24-hour period about 20% of healthy adults are likely to have multiple types of premature ventricular beats. Arrhythmias cause nearly 250,000 deaths each year.
Ventricular arrhythmias can be bradycardic (a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute) or Tachycardic (when the heart beats faster than 100 beats per minut). A fast uncoordinated heart rate is called Fibrillation, and is the most serious form of arrhythmia.
One of the most serious arrhythmias is sustained ventricular tachycardia. In sustained ventricular tachycardia, there are consecutive impulses that arise from the ventricles at a heart rate of 100 beats or more per minute until stopped by drug treatment or electrical conversion. This condition is very dangerous, because it may degenerate further into a totally disorganized electrical activity known as ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, heart's action is so disorganized that it quivers and does not contract, thus failing to pump blood.
Source; Adapted from Maryland Medical