24 year old female patient with multiple trauma monitored. Patient has a skull fracture, flail chest, cardiac contusion, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Rhythm analysis indicates normal sinus rhythm with a prolonged QT interval.
This encounter highlights a prolonged QT interval, or long QT syndrome, where repolarization of the heart is abnormal. Long QT syndrome can be roughly identified (only at normal heart rates!) by observing the QT interval length. If this is greater than 50% of the RR interval, the QT is considered prolonged. For abnormal heart rates, the QTc should be calculated! Long QT syndrome is caused by genetic disorders, certain drugs, or electrolyte imbalances. It can result in dangerous arrhythmias and lead to fainting or even sudden cardiac death.
Source: PhysioNet MGH090