Palpitations

Blackouts can be caused either by the heart going too slowly, too fast or the blood pressure dropping too low. In teenagers and younger people who blackout it is usually due to a faint caused by the blood pressure dropping too low often in response to a stimulus – a faint. However, there may be features of the blackout even in teenagers that point to a cardiac cause.

In middle aged/older people blackouts should not simply be put down to a faint –

Blackouts can be caused either by the heart going too slowly, too fast or the blood pressure dropping too low. In teenagers and younger people who blackout it is usually due to a faint caused by the blood pressure dropping too low often in response to a stimulus – a faint. However, there may be features of the blackout even in teenagers that point to a cardiac cause.

As we age the chance increases of a conduction problem in the transmission of the heart beat from the clock (Sinon-atrial node) at the top of the heart to the main pumping chambers which keep us alive. The clock of the heart, the sinus node beats 50-100 times per minute when we are at rest. The electrical wave front passes from the sinus node across the atrium, across the atrioventricular node (junction box between the top and bottom of the heart) and down the bundles (special fast conducting tissue to spread the electrical impulse over the main pumping chambers quickly and uniformly).

Defects of any of these stages of cardiac conduction may need a pacemaker. To detect problems in cardiac conduction a prolonged recording of the heart beat is usually done-please see sections on Ambulatory ECG and Implantable Loop Recorder.