Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Somewhere along the way, I found Cardiogram; it was a turning point in my journey. One of the main things that attracted me was the design of the app and its continuous heart rate recording feature that mimicked continuous heart rate monitoring of doctor-ordered Holter monitors - Shaquana Graves

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

image by: Cierra Walton

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SVT and Me (Part 1): What it’s like to experience supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)

Have you ever dreamt of sprinting and being jolted out of your sleep, only to realize it was a dream? Well, that’s what SVT can feel like. Which can lead to physiological reactions that are often misdiagnosed as panic attacks. To further explain, SVT for me felt like mini workout sessions. You can imagine it as if frozen in silence as someone sneaks up behind you and yells, “Boo!!!” Your mental and physical response to the “BOO!” is what SVT felt like to me, sometimes lasting for 5 Mississippi minutes. Thankfully, as a distance runner with great endurance, I was able to fight through the episodes.

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 SVT and Me (Part 1): What it’s like to experience supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)

To some, SVT episodes can mimic panic attacks, stress, and other mental health illnesses. For me, panic attacks and other mental health issues were foreign, so my episodes felt like bursts of cardio as if I were sprinting then abruptly stopping, leaving me to catch my breath, with low blood pressure, and feeling faint.


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Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a dysrhythmia originating at or above the atrioventricular (AV) node and is defined by a narrow complex (QRS < 120 milliseconds) at a rate > 100 beats per minute (bpm). Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), also known as paroxysmal SVT, is defined as intermittent SVT without provoking factors, and typically presents with a ventricular rhythm of 160 bpm.

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