Looking for answers after experiencing unexplained fainting episodes at just 33, Kymberli Petronio, wife and mother of four, sought out a heart specialist.
The cardiologist recommended an insertable heart monitor, designed for people who experience infrequent, unexplained fainting, or who may have an undiagnosed heart rhythm condition.More than a year later, Petronio fainted again.
This time, her heart stopped for 19 seconds but began beating on its own again. Her implanted Reveal LINQ device transmitted the data to her doctor’s office and from there, they were able to diagnose a heart condition and implant a Medtronic pacemaker to help regulate her heartbeat.”The Reveal LINQ is the reason I’m here,” says Petronio. Today, Petronio is living an active life with her family and wants to share her story to educate others. Getting heart smart about common heart rhythm issues starts with understanding the terms and treatment options.
What is an arrhythmia?
An arrhythmia is an irregular rhythm caused by a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system. Common symptoms may include a fluttering feeling in the chest, chest pain, heart palpitations, rapid or pounding heart rate, fainting, fatigue, shortness of breath or dizziness.
What are the treatment options?
Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are a common treatment option for patients with an arrhythmia. CIEDs include pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), which regulate a person’s heart rate. A pacemaker typically is implanted in the chest and sends out low-energy electrical stimulation to increase a too-slow heart rate. An ICD also is placed in the chest: when a person’s heart beats dangerously fast, the ICD will deliver a shock or painless pacing therapy to interrupt and reset the heart’s rhythm.
For some patients with heart failure, an advanced pacemaker or defibrillator — called cardiac resynchronization therapy — can help the lower chambers of the heart beat in sync, reducing the symptoms of this progressive condition. And many patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a quivering in the upper chambers of the heart, are candidates for minimally invasive catheter cryoablation.
Your Heart Health Matters February is American Heart Month and a critical time to learn more about heart health.