How Can I Prevent Arrhythmia?
No initial arrhythmia can be predicted or prevented unless there is congenital heart disease that makes one likely. Such patients undergo cardiac echograms to discern the type and severity of congenital anomalies. The can be monitored using long-term implantable loop recorders to alert their physicians when an arrhythmia might arise de novo.
A major part of diagnostics is the addition of ultrasonographic cardiac imaging (echocardiography) to electrocardiography (ECG). Some arrhythmias can result in heart damage, and some heart damage can cause arrhythmias, so a perspective on anatomy is helpful in preventing complications of either.
For other patients, prevention of arrhythmias can only occur with an established diagnosis of previous or on-going arrhythmia or heart disease. Such patients already will have been treated with medical or electrical cardioversion and prevention of any recurrence relies on scrupulous continued observation using long-term monitoring techniques (implantable loop-recorders).
Medical management can include drugs that inhibit the sympathetic nervous system (e.g., beta blockers). Also, arrhythmias fraught with risk of embolism can prevent embolic ischemia in distal organs by the implementation of anticoagulant therapy.
If a patient’s previous event was significantly life-threatening, prevention of sudden cardiac death may require implantable cardioverters/defibrillators. Regardless of which cardiac event triggered the search for the cause and a definitive diagnosis, prevention of serious consequences relies upon placing such patients in a high-risk pool for continued, close surveillance using electrocardiography, frequent visits to their physicians, and imaging diagnostics.