Cardiac Rhythms : Nursing Course


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A cardiac rhythm in which there is flutter waves present on an EKG, with a rapid rate and absent P waves is:

atrial flutter

Rationale: Atrial flutter is an abnormality of the heart rhythm, resulting in a rapid and sometimes irregular heartbeat. It is often referred to as "saw tooth" on an EKG strip because of its appearance. Atrial flutter occurs when electrical impulses of the heart take an abnormal path through the atria, typically circulating around the tricuspid valve in the right atrium. The heart beats in a regular rhythm, but it beats rapidly. The main danger of atrial flutter is that the heart does not pump blood well when it is beating too fast. When blood is not pumped well, vital organs may not get enough oxygen from the blood. With proper treatment, atrial flutter is rarely life-threatening, but complications can occur. Complications that can result because of atrial flutter are stroke and blood clots, but they can often be prevented with blood thinning medications.


A heart rhythm in which the atrium is not contracting, resulting in an irregular rhythm and absent P waves is:

atrial fibrillation

Rationale: Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia which occurs if rapid, disorganized electrical signals cause the heart's two upper chambers, known as the atria, to fibrillate. Patient who have atrial fibrillation may not feel symptoms. However, even when atrial fibrillation isn't noticed, it can increase the risk of stroke. In some people, atrial fib can cause chest pain or heart failure, especially if the heart rhythm is fast. Treatment for atrial fib typically involves some type of blood thinner to prevent blood clots and stroke, as well as medication to control the heart rate. However, some patients that are asymptomatic may not need treatment at all.


A patient that is in a sinus rhythm, but with a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute is in:

sinus tachycardia

Rationale:

A sinus rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute is:

sinus bradycardia

Rationale:

Any rhythm faster than 100 beats per minute with more than 3 irregular beats in a row is:

ventricular tachycardia

Rationale:

The absence of electrical and mechanical activity in the heart is:

asystole

Rationale:

The most serious cardiac rhythm, in which the lower chambers of the heart quiver and can't pump blood is:

ventricular fibrillation

Rationale:

The normal width of the PR interval on an EKG strip is:

0.12- 0.20

Rationale:

The width of the QRS complex on an EKG strip for a patient in sinus rhythm is:

0.04-0.12

Rationale:

When a patient is in normal sinus rhythm, the heart rate will range from:

60-100 beats per minute

Rationale:

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