WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Bradycardia is a slow heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. A slow heart rate is normal for some people, such as athletes, and needs no treatment. Bradycardia can also signal other health conditions that do need treatment.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
You may be injured if you faint because your heart rate gets too low. You may get an infection during surgery to implant a pacemaker. Without treatment for bradycardia, you may develop chest pain, life-threatening shock, or heart failure.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
An IV (intravenous)
is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
Oxygen: You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils.
- Emergency heart medicines: Atropine, epinephrine, and dopamine are IV medicines used for bradycardia. They increase your heart rate or improve your heart's pumping ability while caregivers look for the cause of your bradycardia.
- Antibiotics: Caregivers will give you antibiotics if a bacterial infection such as Lyme disease, diphtheria, or endocarditis caused your bradycardia.
- Other medicines: You may receive medicines to correct blood sugar, electrolyte, or thyroid imbalances.
- Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature to assess your health. They will also ask about your pain. Your vital signs may be checked several times while you are in the hospital.
- Pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter monitors the oxygen in your blood. Your body may not get enough oxygen if your heart pumps too slowly or too weakly. A cord with a clip or sticky strip will be placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine.
- Heart monitor and tests: You will be on a heart monitor to track your heart rate and rhythm while you are in the hospital. Sticky pads are placed on your skin to record your heart rate. You may also have a test called a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) to check how different parts of your heart are working. You will need to lie still during this test.
- Temporary pacemaker: A temporary pacemaker is a short-term emergency treatment while you are in the hospital. The pacemaker is applied to your skin with sticky pads or placed into a neck or chest vein. A pacing device about the size of a small book helps keep your heartbeat stable.
- Permanent pacemaker: A permanent pacemaker is implanted under the skin of your chest or abdomen during surgery. A tiny battery creates electrical impulses that keep your heart rate regular.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.