preview

Atrial Fibrillation: Arrhythmia

Decent Essays
Atrial fibrillation is a type of heart rhythm disorder called an ‘arrhythmia’. Atrial fibrillation is a condition that occurs when there is a fault in the electric activity in the heart muscle, causing the heart to beat irregularly and in an uncoordinated way.
The heart is divided into four chambers. The top two chambers are the atria and the bottom two chambers are the ventricles. Two of the chambers, together make up the right heart and pump blood to your lungs, where it picks up oxygen. Blood that is carrying oxygen then travels to the two chambers on the left side of your heart, which then pumps the blood to the rest of your body. The ventricles (the bottom chambers) are powerful pumping chambers, which push the blood out of the heart when they contract. The smaller and less powerful top chambers of the heart (the atria), help to fill the ventricles with blood for the next contraction. The regulation and coordinated pumping action of the heart is provided by a network of electrical connections, which deliver electrical signals to the heart
…show more content…
Instead of just the sinus node firing, other parts of the atria begin to send electrical signals. However, these signals are not as regular as coordinated as the signals from the sinus node and this leads to the atria (top chambers of the heart) not contracting properly and the ventricles (bottom chambers of the heart) beating irregularly. Depending on how many electric impulses reach the ventricles, the heart beat could be slow or fast, but it tends to be very fast in atrial fibrillation. For example, in a person without atrial fibrillation at rest, the normal sinus node generates approximately 60 to 90 beats per minute. In a person with atrial fibrillation, the atria generate about 600 impulses per minute, but usually only 80 to 120 of them will reach the ventricles and will make it
Get Access