Altered heart rhythm in children, arrhythmia


If the heart beats very fast, very slowly or irregularly, it is called cardiac arrhythmia or arrhythmia. An irregular heartbeat is common. Almost all people have extra heartbeats.


The heart’s function is to pump the blood into the body. It works on its own without being able to be controlled by the will.

The heartbeat is triggered by sending an impulse from a small part of the heart called the sinus node. The impulse causes the atrium of the heart to contract so that blood flows into the two chambers of the heart. Then the impulse passes on to the so-called AV node, and then through the so-called Hiska bundle which branches out into the chamber walls. This leads to a contraction, a so-called heartbeat. Before the next heartbeat comes, the heart must rest a little.

The sinus node, the AV node, and the Hiska bundle are called the heart’s reticular system.

Sometimes the heart rhythm can change so that the heart beats faster, slower or more irregularly than usual. This happens to most people at some point and usually goes away by itself. Occasionally, treatment may be needed.

For example, the altered heart rhythm may be due to congenital changes in the heart’s retinal system or may occur in connection with a viral infection. After cardiac surgery, heart rhythm disorders are common. They mostly go over, but can sometimes remain for a long time.

Symptoms of arrhythmia

The heart always beats faster than usual when exerted or worried. Sometimes the heart rate can suddenly increase, without any external cause, and then the child may feel chest discomfort, become dizzy and dizzy.

If there are disturbances in the heart’s rectal system, so that the pulses do not pass from the sinus node to the AV node, the heart may begin to slow down. Even then, the child can become dizzy and faint.

Treatment for arrhythmia

If the child often gets attacks with faster heartbeats, the child may need treatment with drugs that reduce the heart’s agility and prevent the attacks from occurring. If that does not help, surgery may be required.

When the impulse transition from the atrium to the chambers does not work properly, the heart may need the help of a pacemaker.

When to seek care?

Contact a health care center or pediatric clinic if the child has repeatedly had abnormal heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats, for example, if it feels as if the heart is beating faster or slower than usual.

One should seek care directly at an emergency ward of the child

  • Has a chest discomfort and at the same time feels bad and is pale
  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Has palpitations that do not go over
  • Gets dizzy or faint.

The patient version of the National Board of Health’s national guidelines for care in arrhythmia

The National Board of Health and Welfare has developed national guidelines for how arrhythmia and a number of other diseases should be investigated and treated. The guidelines contain recommendations for health care about certain examinations and treatments that may be of interest to you.

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