Dr Simon Kennon MB ChB, FRCP, MD Consultant Cardiologist

Palpitations

Palpitations are the name for a sensation where you feel that your heart beat is abnormal – sometimes for only short periods of time (seconds or minutes), sometimes for long periods of time (hours). Palpitations can be due to problems with the heart; they can be due anxiety or nervousness; and they can be due to a combination. Sometimes palpitations are exacerbated by caffeine and alcohol

Common heart problems

causing palpitations are abnormal heart rhythms, either transient or continuous. For example atrial fibrillation, ectopic beats, inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

Test

often required after a blackout are: ECG, echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) and 24 hour heart rhythm monitoring (achieved by wearing a small monitor for a day).