Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jessica's PVC's???

Jessica has been complaining that her heart is racing. She complains about that from time to time and has for several years. In fact, on her 16th birthday she was on a heart monitor because of those types of events. Each time she's had the monitors, they come back with a few PVC's (premature ventricular contraction). As I understand it, that means that the ventricle (bottom half of the heart) contracts (squeezes) more often then the atrium (top half of the heart). This afternoon she woke me up from a nap telling me that her heart was racing and I felt her pulse in her neck. Actually, all I would have had to do is look at it because her artery on the right side pulsates with her heartbeat. Anyway, I felt a steady rhythm but not of a normal nature. So I went a hooked her up to the pulse-ox (machine that measures the amount of oxygen that is being saturated in the blood). The pulse-ox also has the heart rate on there. After a few minutes everything looked fine for her and I turned it off. She still complained of being jittery so I gave her a small dose of lorazapam. After awhile she seemed to be more relaxed.

Tonight we had some problems with the oxygen concentrator and Jess mentioned the heart racing again. I wondered if she was having some anxiety of us having to call the oxygen supply company for a new concentrator at midnight but I hooked her up to the monitor anyway. I saw what I had seen/felt earlier in the day. She had a steady beat that wasn't too fast but it was like a hard beat then followed quickly by a small beat... then a slight pause then the hard beat then followed quickly by a small beat. It kept going so I decided to get out my camera and take a video of the pulse-ox machine. I uploaded it to Youtube and here it is:

I'm not sure if these are PVC's or something else. Jessica's pediatric cardiologist has always said that PVC's are pretty common and don't need treatment unless the patient has a lot of them right in a row. If this shows what I think it does, it looks like treatment is in order. My biggest concern is that I've been told that the meds for PVC's have side effects (of course) and one of the side effects is fatigue. Jess is too tired to do much as it is and I would hate for her to sleep her life away. *sigh* I know... I may be getting ahead of myself.

My question for all your heart moms and dads or adults who are heart patients is: After watching the video, do you think this can wait until Monday or should I call the peds cardiologist sooner? You can hear Jessica talking to me in the background and she wasn't extremely uncomfortable. She said that it felt like her heart got a min-trampoline and was jumping on it... or a pogo stick.

She was able to fall asleep so I'm thinking that it can wait until Monday. It's 4am here Sat morning so I think I'll call after I get some sleep and at least see who is on call.

Thanks for any input!


chelle said...

I am not in the know on the heart just wanted to send some virtual hugs your way!

Rene said...

As we heart mommies know all too well, if your gut says something needs to be done, then don't wait. Even if it is nothing, you will both feel better that it has been addressed. Hope you got a little sleep. (((HUGS)))

Valerie said...

My husband is a PICU RN that takes care of post op cardiac kids...he will be home soon and I will ahve him look at this.

~Jennifer said...

Oh, and sometimes I get overwhelmed with my own healthy children's issues. I can't even imagine how it must be to take care of a child with life threatening health problems. You do a wonderful job, you know that?

Ann(ie) said...

I know zip about that topic, but I just wanted you to know I'm here with virtual hugs on hand. Hang in!!!

Mama Bear June said...

I, too, know zip about this particular subject. But I would much rather bug the doc and be told it's nothing to worry about than wait and have something bad happen. It's not like you are a new mom with a baby having her first cold. You are dealing with serious, life-threatening health issues here.

Sending hugs and prayers your way.