Is that like tachycardia?

February 16, 2012

Health and Fitness, Teaching

Is that like tachycardia?

A student in my 2nd Block cardio/health class yesterday asked an astute question while we were covering cardio vascular disorders.  After a quick description of an arrhythmia, a student raised her hand and asked, “Is an arrhythmia the same as tachycardia?”  I love it when students bring previous knowledge into the classroom and have it interact with the material in a way that makes things more interesting and memorable.  I told her that we could both go home and explore the differences between arrhythmia and tachycardia and report back tomorrow.

Well, it’s tomorrow and here’s what I’ve found: According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.  A heartbeat that is too fast is called tachycardia. A heartbeat that is too slow is called bradycardia.”

In a normal, healthy heart, the pacemaker (or sinus node) fires off electrical signals that cause the heart to beat between 60 and 100 times per minute while at rest.  Most people with experience a heart rate that’s higher than 100 beats per minute during times of particular anxiety, stress, excitement or exercise.  In these cases, this elevated heart rate is not concerning.  However, if tachycardia occurs while an individual is at rest or without an obvious cause, this is considered abnormal.

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About Mr. Zerwas

Passionate about Family, Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Multimedia - Teaching Video and Broadcasting and Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA

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