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Long QT Syndrome. Long QT syndrome is a rare heart rhythm disorder. It causes a very rapid heartbeat.

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Introduction

Long QT syndrome Long QT syndrome is a rare heart rhythm disorder. It causes a very rapid heartbeat. These quick heart beats can trigger a sudden seizure or fainting spell. Sometimes, the heart beat so quickly for so long that is causes sudden death. Long QT syndrome is a rare disorder; however it is a severe, fatal illness. Symptoms usually appear during childhood and young adulthood. There is no known cure for long QT syndrome; however, there are several treatments. Often, a combination of different treatments is used. One possible treatment option for long QT syndrome is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that is used to help treat irregular heartbeats, in this case, those caused by long QT syndrome. An IDC is placed in the chest or abdomen. It used electrical pulses or shocks to control arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). ICD's are especially used in cases where arrhythmias are life-threatening and may cause SCA (sudden cardiac arrest). SCA can happen in those with long QT syndrome and most often causes death. The heart has an electrical system which naturally controls rate and rhythm of the heartbeats. With every heartbeat, and electrical signal is spread from the top of the heart to the bottom. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, the risk of death from this procedure is less than 1%. Life with an ICD is generally good. People with an ICD can live life to the fullest without making any major lifestyle changes. There are some limitations of ICDs. Most physical activities can be performed by those with ICDs. However, great care must be taken to make sure that no excessive strain is place on the arms, shoulder or torso. This is because this is around the area which the ICD is in. Putting excessive strain on any of these areas could damage either the electrodes going to the patient�s heart or the device itself. In addition, those with ICDs should also avoid contact sports like American football, boxing, wrestling or contact karate. This is because hitting the chest area can damage either the electrodes or the ICD itself. Although most electronic equipment is safe to use with ICDs, there are some limitations on the use of electronic equipment. Most electronic equipment (for example, mobile phones) should be kept at least 15cm away from the ICD. Those with ICDs must avoid electronic equipment in a professional environment as well as equipment that use big magnets or that generates magnetic fields. MRI scanners can also interfere with how the ICD words. This means that those with ICDs cannot have MRI scans. ...read more.

Conclusion

Long QT syndrome affects mainly children, and children with ICDs in them may encounter some social problems in their lives. Because of the limitations placed on those with ICDs, children cannot act like their peers and they cannot participate in all the activities their peers participate in. For example, a child with an ICD may be excluded because they cannot play certain sports, such as American football. Other treatments for ICD, such as beta-blockers (medicine) pose fewer restrictions on a child's lifestyle, however for a child that is at risk of sudden death from long QT syndrome, an ICD is often necessary. However, social factors also help the use of ICDs. Children that have severe long QT syndrome and do not have an ICD will need to have far more activity restrictions. Generally, ICDs are a good treatment for long QT syndrome and they are effective in helping treat it. Anon., 2009. Living with an implantable cardioverter. [Online] Available at: http://www.childrensmercy.org/Content/view.aspx?id=5292 [Accessed 14 12 2011]. Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation, 2008. Caring For a Child: School Issues. [Online] Available at: http://www.childrenscardiomyopathy.org/site/school.php [Accessed 14 12 2011]. Mayo Clinic , 2011. Long QT Syndrome. [Online] Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/long-qt-syndrome/ [Accessed 15 December 2011]. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 2011. What is an implantable cardioverter delfibrator?. [Online] Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/icd/ [Accessed December 13 2011]. theheart.org, 2008. What effective are ICDs?. [Online] Available at: http://www.theheart.org/article/906261.do [Accessed 14 12 2011]. ?? ?? ?? ?? Due date: 2011-12-16 ...read more.

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