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)
less than 20 bpm
> 100 bpm
*Only two rhythms that are treated with defibrillation.