Dysrhythmias & EKG Interpretation Q 18 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Thursday 28 April 2022

Dysrhythmias & EKG Interpretation Q 18

A nurse is watching the cardiac monitor, and a client’s rhythm suddenly changes. There are no P waves; instead, there are wavy lines. The QRS complexes measure 0.08 second, but they are irregular, with a rate of 120 beats a minute. The nurse interprets this rhythm as:
     A. Sinus tachycardia
     B. Atrial fibrillation
     C. Ventricular tachycardia
     D. Ventricular fibrillation

Correct Answer: B. Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is characterized by a loss of P waves; an undulating, wavy baseline; QRS duration that is often within normal limits; and an irregular ventricular rate, which can range from 60 to 100 beats per minute (when controlled with medications) to 100 to 160 beats per minute (when uncontrolled). Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. It is the leading cardiac cause of stroke. Risk factors for atrial fibrillation include advanced age, high blood pressure, underlying heart and lung disease, congenital heart disease, and increased alcohol consumption.

Option A: Sinus tachycardia is a regular cardiac rhythm in which the heart beats faster than normal and results in an increase in cardiac output. While it is common to have sinus tachycardia as a compensatory response to exercise or stress, it becomes concerning when it occurs at rest.
Option C: Ventricular tachycardia is characterized by the absence of P waves, wide QRS complexes (usually greater than 0.14 second), and a rate between 100 and 250 impulses per minute. The rhythm is usually regular. Ventricular tachycardia is characterized as a wide complex (QRS duration greater than 120 milliseconds) tachyarrhythmia at a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute. It is classified by duration as non-sustained or sustained. Non-sustained ventricular tachycardia is defined as more than 3 beats of ventricular origin at a rate greater than 100 beats per minute that lasts less than 30 seconds in duration.
Option D: VF is a WCT caused by irregular electrical activity and characterized by a ventricular rate of usually greater than 300 with discrete QRS complexes on the electrocardiogram (ECG). QRS morphology in VF varies in shape, amplitude, and duration with a prominent irregular rhythm.

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