Medical Courses

July 21st, 2010

Everyday doctors and nurses are faced with the challenge of providing care to patients that are experiencing Ventricular Tachycardia.  Are you able to recognize the rhythm and provide the appropriate treatment if needed?   An ACLS course can help you recognize the rhythm and treatment that is needed for this life threatening situation.  ACLS is Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

To better understand what is happening to the patient, you need to know that:  Ventricular Tachycardia is a heart rhythm that is originating in the ventricles, which causes the complex to be wide, and it can produce a heart rate of at least 120 beats per minute.  The ACLS course teaches you how to appropriately intervene, what the ECG looks like, and the medications that are needed.  If you do not intervene quickly and provide the necessary treatment to these types of patients, the outcome can be fatal.

There are some other things that need to be considered.  What type of symptoms are the patient presenting with, is the rhythm sustained, and what is causing the patient to have this type of rhythm.  Left untreated, Ventricular Tachycardia leads to Ventricular Fibrillation, where the heart is not pumping at all, merely quivering.  That is why it is very important to correct this rhythm before it takes the life of our patient.

Let’s take a look at what is causing this rhythm in a patient and why it is do dangerous for a patient have this heart rhythm.  Ventricular Tachycardia is dangerous because the ventricles are not able to fill completely to pump blood to the rest of the body, therefore a patient will have a low blood pressure and with a low blood pressure, other organs in the body will suffer because their is not enough force of the blood to deliver the oxygen that is needed.  Therefore placing the patient at risk for organ damage and eventually organ failure. Most patients will have palpitations/flutter feelings in their chest.

When you complete an ACLS course you will be able to competently follow the protocol that is so crucial in saving a person’s life.  The course will help you identify Ventricular Tachycardia, recognize symptoms and provide the recommended treatment to the patient.  The patient may need to be cardioverted if the rhythm is sustained (usually lasting more than 30 seconds).  The drugs used to treat Ventricular Tachycardia are Amiodarone, Lidocaine and Procainamide.  The drugs are usually given via IV access.  These drugs will suppress the rhythm.  It is important to check a patients lab work, especially a blood chemistry profile.  And correct any abnormal blood levels.  Knowing how to treat the lethal heart rhythm and provide treatment in a timely manner is gratifying as a competent health care provider.

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