Can doctors in accident and emergency or urgent care treat heart palpitations?
Emergency doctors can help make you arrive at a clear diagnosis with a simple ECG. Please do take a copy or if not, capture a photograph of that all-important ECG on your phone. It may be the only documentation of the palpitation you may get!
This is crucially important for your cardiologist (specifically electrophysiologist – a cardiologist with a specialized interest in palpitations) to be able to make appropriate onward treatment recommendations at a later stage.
If you are in persistent tachycardia, the emergency doctor can give you specific treatment for your condition. For example, if you have supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), you can be given a drug called adenosine which is highly successful at terminating or stopping the SVT.
You can usually be started on a drug immediately such as a beta-blocker (something that ends in a – pool, e.g. bisoprolol, metoprolol, or calcium blockers such as verapamil or diltiazem) to help minimize further recurrences, and should be asked to be sent an outpatient urgent appointment to see an electrophysiologist.
Typically, unless you are significant recurrent symptoms that cannot be resolved in accident and emergency, you will be discharged home the same day or the day after with an appointment made to see a cardiologist afterwards.
If you have atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter diagnosed during admission, you may be asked to start taking anticoagulant medications. These are drugs such as apixaban, edoxaban, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran.
If you have palpitations and would like a rapid assessment potentially with mobile Long Term ECG Monitoring sent to your home or office, please contact Dr Lim