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Talking to Your Doctor About Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- Is this arrhythmia harmless, or is it a warning that a life-threatening event is pending?
- How did I develop this arrhythmia?
- How many people who have this type of arrhythmia die of sudden cardiac arrest?
- Is there anything I can do to make my heartbeat normal?
- How likely is it that this arrhythmia will lead to sudden death?
- How rapidly do we need to act to prevent sudden death?
- What tools should I have with me to prevent sudden death?
- What are my treatment options?
- Are there any alterative options?
- What are the possible side effects of each treatment?
- How long will treatment last?
- Will I have to take medication for the rest of my life?
- What activities are hazardous for me until this is under control?
- Are there any activities that I will never be able to do again?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help prevent the arrhythmia from recurring?
- Should I carry something with me so people know I have an arrhythmia?
- What chance is there that I can return to my former lifestyle after treatment?
- Do I need to prepare my estate and family for the possibility of my sudden death?
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 06/2017
- Update Date: 12/20/2014