Heart Block

What is Heart Block?

Heart Block is a condition in which there is a failure in the conduction of electrical impulses from the natural pacemaker (Sinoatrial node) through the heart, which can lead to a slowing of the pumpaction.

Heart block may be of three types:

1. First Degree AV block or Intermittent block. Heart rate remains normal.
2. Second Degree block or periodic block. Here there is a periodic slowing because not all impulses are conducted between the atrium and ventricle.
3. Complete heart block. Here there is no electrical conduction, the heartbeats are slow.

Causes of Heart Block

1. Coronary artery disease.
2. Congenital.
3. Rheumatic heart disease.
4. Infection of the heart muscle.
5. Drugs like digitalis.

Clinical Features of Heart Block

Dizziness, syncope, chest pain, breathlessness, slow irregular heart beats.

Treatment of Heart Block

1. First degree heart block-No treatment.
2, Second and Third degree blocks-Case to be admitted to a hospital