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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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A to Z: Arrhythmia

A to Z: Arrhythmia

What's in this Article?

A to Z: Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia (ay-RITH-mee-uh) is an abnormal heart rhythm usually caused by an electrical "short circuit" in the heart.

More to Know

The heart normally beats in a consistent pattern, but an arrhythmia can make it beat too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly. This can cause the heart muscle's pumping function to work erratically, which can lead to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, and chest pain.

Arrhythmias can be temporary or permanent. They can be caused by several things, but also can occur for no apparent reason. Congenital (present at birth) arrhythmias sometimes are due to a birth defect of the heart, but some happen even when the heart has formed normally.

Keep in Mind

Many arrhythmias don't require treatment; however, some can pose a health problem and need to be evaluated and treated by a doctor.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.