Arrhythmia is an irregularity in the heart rhythm, causing the heart to beat too slowly, too quickly, or in an irregular pattern. During normal heart functioning, the right side of the heart acts as a natural pacemaker, sending out the electrical signals that control the heartbeat.
Arrhythmia arises when this natural pacemaker begins to send out an irregular signal, when the conduction pathway through the heart is interrupted, or when another area of the heart begins sending out a signal. Arrhythmia can range from mild palpitations to severe cases resulting in cardiac arrest and death. The condition can also signal other serious conditions, such as heart disease or stroke.
What are the Causes?
There are several causes of arrhythmia. Some of these causes include:
- Medical Malpractice (Failure to Diagnose)
- Injury from heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Electrolyte imbalances in blood
Common symptoms of arrhythmia include:
- Dizziness / fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding in chest
Flashback: Between 1993 and 1999, the heartburn drug Propulsid was linked to multiple cases of serious cardiac arrhythmias, with 341 cases reported to the FDA. Of these cases, 80 deaths occurred from sudden cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and heart attacks. Makers of Propulsid voluntarily withdrew the drug in April 2000 at the request of the FDA.
Filing a Lawsuit
Patients or their families who have suffered from arrhythmia as a result of negligence, injury or defective drug may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal rights.