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Premature ventricular contractions...... Can any of you nurses explain a little bit more about this to me. Last Friday night I took DH to the ER and he was diagnosed with this. He has an appt this afternoon to see our internist.
 

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Tina Bob
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I'm not a nurse but a couple years ago my dh was in emergency because of painful pvcs. My dh's pvcs were because of low potassium. He's taken potassium pills since then and the pvcs are gone. I hope they determine why you dh has these.
 

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I had a severe problem with PVC's a few years ago. I was having ventricular bigeminy and trigeminy (that's where every second or third beat is abnormal), and the bigemily was causing me to feel dizzy and short of breath. It was severe for about a month, then disappeared. I occasionally notice the "rat jumping around in my chest" sensation, but it's not an issue for me anymore.

Now to what caused it..........I first noticed a problem around the time I had an apparent case of Fifth Disease (human parvovirus), which caused a severe fever and terrible pains and kept me in bed 3 days (very hard to do, it was a BAD virus!!!!!). I think it got better for a while, but the at Christmas that year, I consumed LOTS of chocolate and strong coffee at my sister's, and a little liquor, and when i got home I kept up the caffeine. You'll never convince me caffeine wasn't somehow involved, and possibly that nightly glass of wine or bottle of beer.

I wound up at the ER eventually due to the nearly passing out. They did an ECG which dramatically showed as many abnormal beats as normal! They gave me an IV injection of Magnesium, thinking it was an electrolyte problem, but it didn't help. Eventually they told me I had "benign palpitations" and sent me home and suggested maybe laying off the caffeine. I made an appt with a cardiologist for an echo and stress echo (ultrasound), but it wasn't for another 3 weeks. Meantime, stopping caffeine did nothing, until after 2 weeks i woke up one morning and it was NORMAL again. The cardiologist found no fundamental abnormalities.

I still occasionally have it, usually if I have a beer or two, or real coffee, or way too much chocolate. I happen to think the viral infection is what started the thing - did a little damage to my heart's electrical conduction system. Seemingly minor viral infections are a leading cause of heart failure leading to the need for translplant, and I think I dodged a bullet.

It was weird as it was happening. I knew I had an arrhythmia and was trying to figure out by auscultation which one it was, lol! And in the ER I was interpreting my own ECG.
 

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I have em too JustJoy. Mine are mostly under control with a dose of magnesium every night. I have 1/4 tsp. of (plain ol') epsom salts with a swig of water at bedtime. Works pretty good for me. If I get under a lot of stress or forget the salts I get em again.... . I hope you get some answers, keep us posted.
 

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Thank you all for your replies. DH saw the Dr yesterday and he wants him to go back to the hospital for an echocardiogram and an echo stress test. He also has to go back to the Dr Monday morning to get a Holter monitor put on for 24 hrs.

DH was drinking quite a bit of coffee every morning, but cut it out completely when he started having the PVC's. He also hasn't had any alcohol in over 6 months as I don't drink anymore and don't like to have it in the house.

I'll let you know when the results are in.
 
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