Is SVT life threatening?
SVT is short for supraventricular tachycardia. This is a form of arrhythmia which is typically due to a “short circuit” within the heart, which creates a cycle of re-entry, in which an electrical circuit continuously goes round-and-round in a circle, perpetuating a rapid heart rhythm until the circuit is broken. This is distinct from the usual normal heartbeats, which is due to electrical discharges from a single site (the sinus node) which is the “spark” that generates an impulse.
SVT rhythms in itself are not usually life-threatening but can cause extremely disconcerting and scary symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, and fainting. And if you were to experience these symptoms whilst driving, for example, it could lead to momentary loss of control which could be life-threatening.
However, most patients are able to maintain consciousness and take appropriate steps such as simply sitting or lying down with an attack to prevent harm. The SVT episode usually spontaneously resolves are a few seconds or minutes.
If you have an SVT, please do try to seek medical attention from an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist with an interest in electrical abnormalities), even after the event has passed.
Dr Lim is one of the top-rated cardiologists in London – Dr Boon Lim can provide an in-depth assessment of your palpitations, using modern diagnostic tests, in comfortable surroundings.
Contact Dr Boon Lim now to arrange an appointment for SVT Heart Treatment in London, UK.