Quick Thinking for Fast Heart Rates

Tachycardia is a common arrhythmia that requires immediate attention and management. With the diverse causes of tachycardia and a wide range of management strategies, nurses need to know the best practices for treating and stabilizing patients.

Eugene E. Mondor, clinical nurse educator in the adult critical care unit at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, will present an interactive session on Monday that provides attendees with tools and tips to differentiate the various types of tachycardia, along with possible management solutions.

“It can be quite variable. That’s why constant observation and monitoring of these patients is critical,” Mondor says.

During the session “Tell It to My Heart: Essential Critical Care Management of Those Terrible Tachycardias,” Mondor will discuss atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia, sinus tachycardia and other types of tachycardia. He will review the anatomy and physiology of the heart, underlying conditions that can cause tachycardia in adult critical care patients and implications of tachycardia. He will also present several management options for tachycardia, reminding attendees that solutions depend on the underlying cause and the stability of the patient.

“Nurses need to have an algorithmic approach to what they are going to uncover,” Mondor says. “They should not be lulled into a false sense of security, because fast heart rhythm can certainly deteriorate into something more sinister.”

Mondor will speak about the care techniques he has used in clinical practice, including synchronized cardioversion, radiofrequency catheter ablation and pharmacological therapies such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, adenosine, digoxin, esmolol and anticoagulation therapy.

He will also discuss the underlying conditions that could cause tachycardias, including fever, sepsis, acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalances and the use of certain medications, alcohol or illicit substances, such as cocaine.

This session will be repeated on Tuesday from 1-2:15 p.m., in room 253A.

One Response

  1. Amy Joslin says:

    Will this session be recorded or able to share? This would be a great topic to share with our staff.