During rest, a human heart should beat about 50-99 times a minute. However, the speed depends on various factors. That affects the body’s need for oxygen. Any activity, emotions, or medications can cause the heart to beat faster to over 100 beats a minute. Another factor that affects the functioning of the heart is the presence of certain medical conditions. You may consider taking a Port Saint Lucie echocardiogram to assess the functioning of your heart and detect any abnormalities.
The Hearts’ Electrical System
There is a specific electrical pathway that is crucial for the heart to function. The heart pumps blood throughout the body, which involves alternating contraction and relaxation of the atria and ventricles. The pathway involves various steps, including:
What Happens in the SA Node?
The state of your SA node is what will determine your sinus rhythm, also known as the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat. The sinoatrial node is the heart’s pacemaker, which is the part of the heart responsible for initiating contraction. Specialized cells in the right atrium are what make up the sinoatrial node. They create an electrical activity that causes them to contract, forcing blood into the ventricles.
What Happens in the AV Node?
The atrioventricular node comprises a group of cells that slows down the electrical signal from the sinus node in the atrium before it reaches the ventricles. The two chambers of the heart cannot contact at the same time. Therefore, slowing down the process enables the atrium to contract before the ventricles.
What is the His-Purkinje Network?
This assembly of fibers is responsible for the ventricular contraction that pushes blood from the heart out to the lungs or the body. This is the final contraction stage, and then the sinoatrial node fires up again to repeat the pumping process.
What is an Echocardiogram?
This diagnostic tool leverages ultrasound technology, which involves sound waves of different frequencies to create an image of the heart. Practitioners use this detailed representation to confirm information concerning the state of your heart which plays a role in the diagnosis and treatment of different heart complications.
The Different Types of Electrocardiograms
- Transesophageal echocardiogram- During the process, a doctor will pass the transducer down the esophagus.
- Stress echocardiogram- The patient usually performs an activity that will speed up the heartbeat, for example, walking on a treadmill.
What to Expect During an Electrocardiogram Procedure
Your doctor will pass an external device called a transducer, which emits sound waves over your chest. During the procedure, you will not feel the sound waves. However, they will penetrate through the skin and tissues, then bounce back to the transducer, which sends the information back to a translating software that interprets the waves received as an image of all the parts of your heart on a screen monitor. Your doctor will assess your heart as it pumps, looking out for specific issues like tumors or growths, blood clots, or holes within the chambers.
Contact TLC Medical Group to book an echocardiogram to help understand the condition of your heart.