Partner had SVT episode heart rate above 230bpm. Advice?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some advice and possibly reassurance, it's my partner who has SVT and had recently had a bad episode which has led me here.

He is 28 years old and had a catheter ablation done in 2009 due to frequent and long bad episodes one of which exceeded 300bpm, unfortunately that didn't work.

He has never taken medication for it, but since that operation he changed his life style he no longer drinks only very very rarely, in the 7 years I have been with him he had never been hospitalised for SVT as it's usually mild and goes after 10 minutes or so of lying down.

However a few days ago(after a week of much stress) he had an episode that wasn't stopping and getting worse, I called an ambulance as he was very faint, his reading was 210bpm, they took him in and put him on a drip to try and bring it down, it was having no effect and after 4 hours of it getting up to 250bpm they increased the dosage and we started to see results slowly, after 8 hours he reverted back to normal. His discharge notes state AF with RBBB.

They have offered him another ablation but he had refused on the basis that this is the first big episode since 2009. He had refused regular medication and instead chose pill in the pocket.

Suppose I'm looking for reassurance from others who suffer, would you opt for a second ablation? Can stress really trigger this? I'm scared, I feel like he's fragile now and am running around after him hoping it doesn't happen again.

Also we have a 6 month old baby, should she be checked for this condition?

Any advice appreciated

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I can't speak for the ablation part as my consultant refuses to do one on me but since starting medication I've not had any episodes so worth looking into, wasn't my ideal option but I can't live with having SVT 2/3 times a week. I'm 31yrs old and was diagnosed this year but have had it for 2yrs. I have 4 children and they will not test my children as chances of them having SVT are slim.

    I've been hospitalised once and been in numerous ambulance trips to hospital as my heart rate goes 240bpm. After an episode you feel exhausted, sore etc so it's understandable how your husband will feel after going through what's happened.

    I hope he feels better soon and you too has it's had a huge impact on my families life as I'm sure it will with you and your baby.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. I guess I'm very anxious about it all. Probably more so than he is. Can I ask how long you've been on medication for?

      He has refused medication as he says this is the first big episode for many years he's hoping he could go years again without another, but has been given tablets to take if an episode comes on in the hope it can stop it without a hospital trip.

      It's very scary for me as I can't help but worry it could be life threatening. I guess I need to learn more about it, or I should have asked the cardiologist more questions. My partner understandably just wanted to get out if there as fast as he could.

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  • Posted

    Hi Samantha,

    Given your partner's history I think a pill in pocket approach is very reasonable. There is nothing in the literature that says ablation improves important outcomes such as longevity. Should the pill in pocket not work out, then he can always re-revisit ablation or alternatively try daily meds. Yes, stress can sometimes contribute to rhythm conditions like afib.

    Curious, you mentioned both SVT and afib in your post. Are you using these terms interchangeably or are you referring to two different conditions? Sometimes they are used interchangeably,, but often afib is referred to when the rhythm is irregular and SVT when the rhythm is regular.

    Given the later definition,, was the episode he was ablated for afib or SVT? SVT ablation s a much shorter procedure with better statistical outcomes than an afib ablatiion. Also, were his ten minute ever documented by an ekg? If not, no way of really knowing if they were SVT or afib.

    Jim

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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for your reply.

      You know I'm not sure myself, top of his discharge notes say AF with RBBB, my partner told me they his heart was all over the place aswell as reaching over 200bpm. In the ambulance they were confused by the readings and said something along the lines of it keeps switching between different things. They said they were 'impressed' for want of a better word.

      I've asked my partner about the ablation and he isn't entirely sure, he doesn't recall AF being mentioned back then. The surgery was quick he was out the same day, they told him a 90% success rate.

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    • Posted

      Sounds like he deinitelyf had afib (irregular and fast0 in the recent episode. Also sounds like he may have only had SVT (fast and regular) prior to his first ablation because SVt ablation has 90-95 per cent sucess rate while afib ablaion has a lower success rate. Hard to tell what the short inbetween episodes were since I assume they were no ecgs. They could have  been anything from afib, to aflutter, to svt.

      Moving forward you might want to ask your EP about an even monitor or even purchasing a portble ecg device like the Kardia Mobile.

      The important thing to note is that neiher afib or svt is life threatening or will shorten your partners life and it can be treated  with pill in pocket or daily meds if he does not choose to have an ablation. Given his situation, I wouldn't have another ablation at this time either and would also try pill in pocket first. If that didn't work then daily meds. Ablation would be my third choice. There are also lifetstyle changes that can help such as what you eat, losing weight, and having a sleep study down for sleep apnea. I'm currently on the FODMAPA diet and it seems to be helping some.''

      jim

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your replies they've really helped!

      He does need to lose some weight and a sleep study would be good too, we will look into the diet it's not something I've heard of.

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    • Posted

      Unless he sleeps like a log, i would recommend starting with a home sleep study. It covers most of the stuff done in the hospital lab but allows you to sleep in your own bed. I've done both. In the lab, I slept less than 3 hours. At home, 9 hours. A lot more useful data at home. Stanford is a good site for FODMAP and so is Monash University in Australia.

      Jim

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  • Posted

    I am 61 years old & have had 2 ablation surgeries but I still had one abnormal electrical pathway come back. I was passing out when my pulse went over 210. 

    I take  Flecainide which is an anti arrhythmia medicine and have not had any problems since. I would suggest medication. He should talk to his doctor about it as an option if he doesn’t want to have another ablation.

    Talk to your pediatrician about the baby. I don’t know if this is hereditary.

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  • Posted

    Hi samantha. I had my first svt attack when i was 13 just sitting in a chair. I remember telling people i felt weird and could feel my heart racing. Later went to the hospital and ended up with a heart moniter to record the attack if they happened and for the month that i had it i was attack free. So doctors suggested medication or surgerys or just to let it be. I chose the latter. Almost then after 10 years suffering i found out that i could STOP the attack myself. I am no doctor but i do have a trick that works for me everytime without fail. I suggest it to anyone i know or meet that has SVT and i get extremly positive results as feed back. I try to spread the word when i can and i hope this reaches you and helps your S.o. Its a handstand. Thats it. For some reason within 10/15 seconds of being upside down it stops that attack. Laying on your back or over a bed will not work. Has to be a complete handstand. Help him balance if needed. And when it works spread the word cause its a easy fix for a problem that i really dont need to worry about anymore. Wish u all the luck. -Terry P
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