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Can Afibrillation Cause Chest Pain and Shortness of Breath?

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I'VE HAD A FIB SINCE JUNE OF 1999, AND WHEN I WAS PREGNANT WITH MY DAUGHTER LAST YEAR I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL 9 TIMES FOR MY HEART AND DIABETES. I HAD MY AUGHTER IN AUGUST OF 05 AND I'M STILL HAVING PROBLEMS. I SEE MY HEART DR AND SHE HAS ME ON COUMADIN. WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS CAN A FIB CAUSE CHEST PAIN AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH? EVERYTIME I LAY DOWN OR GO TO PICK UP MY LITTLE GIRL I CAN'T BREATH. I DON'T KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT A FIB. MY DOCTOR TOLD ME THAT THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY HEART IS NOT PUMPING ENOUGH BLOOD. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT OTHER SYMPTOMS A FIB HAS. THANKS..


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replied April 18th, 2006
Heart Disease & Heart Attack Answer A784
The heart contracts when stimulated by electrical impulses that it produces on its own. Any part of the heart muscle can produce electrical impulses that will cause heart contractions. Normally, the sinus node acts as the heart rhythm guide. The sinus node is found in the right heart's pre-chamber. The sinus node self-creates electrical impulses (auto-excitation); the pulse rate, however, is controlled by the neuron-vegetative system (simpaticus and parasimpaticus). Electrical impulses from the sinus node are then conducted to another node (atrial-ventricular) and from there are transmitted through Hiss’s fascicle into the heart chamber’s muscles. This means that one electrical impulse produced in the sinus node causes one contraction of the heart muscle. In atrial fibrillation, many electrical impulses are produced from various places in the heart’s atria. Not all those impulses will reach the chambers and cause contractions because some will be stopped in the atrio-ventricular node. But if there are many impulses produced in the atria(over 200 per minute), many of them will pass through the atrio-ventricular node and will reach the chambers causing the heart to contract too quickly (over 160 per minute). This may occur suddenly. it is called "supra-ventricular paroxysmal tachycardia". Such a heart rate is not effective and manifests with chest pain and breath shortness. While the chambers contract quickly, the atria are only trembling. This atrial trembling creates a condition for the development of blood clots. Blood clots created in the heart’s atria can cause thrombo-embolism in distant organs (lungs, brain, extremities, intestines etc.). Your doctor prescribed you Coumadin in order to prevent blood clotting in the atria. Atrial fibrillation is treated with digoxin, verapamil or another anti-arrhythmic drug.
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