If you feel that your heart beat isn’t always ‘normal’, you’re not alone. Many people with CHD notice changes in their heart beat or rhythm, commonly called palpitations. This is one of the most common symptoms for people with CHD, which is why we’ve given it its own section. Patients use different words to describe these, including skipped beats, fluttering in the chest, racing heart, or pounding in the chest. The heart beat might feel too slow, too fast, or irregular, and this can last for a few seconds, hours, or even days or weeks.
The heart has its own electrical system that controls the heart beat. Sometimes the electrical system becomes faulty and extra beats or fast heart rhythms happen. Problems in the electrical system can also cause the heart to beat too slowly. Palpitations can sometimes come out of the blue. Sometimes things can trigger palpitations, like the following:
For people with CHD, palpitations can also happen because of changes in heart function. This might include valve problems (narrowing or leakiness), stretching of the heart chambers, or weakening of the heart muscle.
Nobody expects you to figure this out by yourself. If you have palpitations, the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor and decide whether further tests are needed. Palpitations that happen more often or last longer should definitely be discussed with your doctor.
Your doctors will probably ask a few questions, listen to your heart, and arrange some tests.
Occasional skipped beats (like a ‘thump’ or butterfly in the chest) a few times per day are very common and do not require urgent medical attention – you can mention them to your cardiologist at your next visit.
If you have palpitations that make you feel unwell (for any reason) you can stay safe by:
You should call 9-1-1 if the palpitations last for a long time (over 10-15 minutes) and cause the following warning symptoms:
We won’t think you’re silly for calling an ambulance. Sometimes it’s actually easier for us to work out what’s wrong once you’re at the hospital.
Many people with palpitations don’t need any extra treatment. The first step is to let your heart team know that you’re having palpitations….
If treatment is required, the options include:
This website is designed specifically for young people with congenital heart disease. The goal is to provide information to help people who are getting ready to move (or have recently moved) to adult heart care. We use the term ‘transition’ to describe this process. Family, friends and health care providers may also find this website helpful.
Please be advised this site does not provide medical advice. All of the content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, please consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please promptly visit a Hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided on or provided in relation to the site is solely at your own risk. Contributors to this website are not responsible, nor liable, for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained within this site.
Any websites linked from this website are created by other organizations. Those organizations are responsible for the information contained within their sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites or third-party advertisements and do not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites. Any specific comments regarding these sites should be directed toward that individual organization.
We have a simple ‘Getting to Know You’ survey that we ask all visitors to complete (we don’t ask for any personal health information). Website browsing activity will be monitored so that we can learn about the people who visit the website, how often people visit the website, and the web pages that are visited most often. This will help us decide which changes and improvements to make to the website in the future. Results from this project will be described for groups of website visitors (i.e., not for individual users).
Anyone can visit this website and most users will create their own User IDs and passwords. However, there are also Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) and pediatric cardiology programs that have officially joined the iHeartChange team and work together to keep this website going. (You can find a list of the ACHD programs in the ‘Welcome to Adult Care’ section of the website). Some of these programs might choose to assign User IDs so that they can track of and how patients from their own programs visit the website. They might even want to track this for research. If you have been assigned a User ID from a program, that program might ask us to give them information about your answers to the ‘Getting to Know You’ survey, how many times you log into the website and which web pages you visit.
Please click below to indicate that you have read the Disclaimer.
We recommend that you register by creating your own User ID and password.
This will allow you to log in again and keep track of which pages on the website you visit.
If you visit them all, you can earn a transition diploma!
If you register, it also means that you won’t be shown the disclaimer & survey each time that you visit.
However, registration is not required.
Reminder: please write down your User ID and password for safekeeping
because we don’t store your email address for password reset!
Would you like to Login or Register?
We are almost there!
Now we would like to get to know you just a little bit.
Knowing your background will help us make this website even better for you.
We won’t ask you for personal health information.
This short survey will only take a minute or two to complete.
We hope you enjoy your visit!
Would you like to take our survey?
HELPING YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO ADULT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE CARE
Thanks for checking out our website!
This website is designed mainly for young people with congenital heart disease (CHD). The aim is to help people feel more ready to “transition” from pediatric to adult care. And we know that family, friends and health care providers might also want to check it out!
Since this is your first visit, please read our disclaimer!