Introduction Part 1
- Rhythms are often named according to the origin of the electrical activity in the heart or the structure where the problem is occurring.
- Ventricular Rhythms are aptly named due to the locus of stimulation being the ventricles (Purkinje network).
- Dysrhythmias in this category occur as a result of either a failure of the higher (faster) pacemakers within the heart or an abnormal locus of stimulation within the ventricles is occurring at a faster rate than the other pacemaker sites and thus takes over as the pacemaker of the heart.
- Remember, the fastest electricity in the heart (regardless of location) will dictate the heart rate.
Introduction Part 2
- Each rhythm in this category will share unique morphologic features which separate them from other rhythms.
- Other than Asystole and Ventricular Fibrillation which are unique even within this category, the remaining ventricular rhythms typically present without P waves and will display a wide, bizarre QRS complex (measuring 0.12 seconds or greater).
- After learning the unique features just described, it is simply a matter of recalling the heart rate range associated with the dysrhythmia.
Chart of Types
(no P wave, wide - bizarre QRS if present)
|Agonal||less than 20 bpm|
|Accelerated Idioventricular ||40-100 bpm|
|*Ventricular Tachycardia ||> 100 bpm|
|*Ventricular Fibrillation||Electrical Chaos|
*Only two rhythms that are treated with defibrillation.