I read in a recent post of yours that you do this to "turn them (psvt) off". I started on this forum because what I'd gotten used to (PVC's) seem to have evolved or at least have been complicated by the onset of bouts of SVT. I've have very few episodes, but the most recent scared the hell out of me, and I went running back to the dr. for my annual...you are really okay...pep talk. I've been through all the tests and accept that I'm not going to die (at least from this) and that has been a HUGE help, but when these episodes do hit I'd love to know how to handle them. Right now, it's just, feel the palps and the dizziness and freak out then try to get over it. If there is actually a "maneuver" that I could "learn" it may help me feel more empowered and less freaked out. That's a big advantage with these things.
I've always used valsalva because it's more subtle than sticking your face in ice water (lol). Coughing works sometimes for me too if my PVC's/PAC's are running close together. But when I use valsalva for my tachy I've found that it works best if I hold my breath till I feel my heart protesting - thumping hard - and then let my breath out slowly. If I just blast out my breath, the tachy comes right back. And SillyHeart is right - the sooner you do it, the better. Don't wait 15-20 minutes hoping the tachy will just turn itself off. Valsalva just doesn't work as well then if at all.
Well did-doe to all the comments above !! You really do need to try to stop them ASAP before it sets in (as i like to put it) !!
However once when i had both hands full as well as having my 3 lovely kids hanging of me BOOM flutter flutter SVT. Nothing i did would convert, then i remembered reading on this forum about a person who discovered by accident if they dropped to the ground then just as quick jumped up again they would stop. So i said to my hubby "what the hell" so down i go then up i pop and guess what STOPPED instantly !!
There is am effective but DANGEROUS procedure that only a doctor should perform (in other words don't try it on yourself). Docs in ERs will sometimes try this to cardiovert the patient. It's called the Carotid sinus message.
"Located in the neck just below the angle of the jaw, the carotid sinus sits above the point where the carotid artery divides into its two main branches. Rubbing the carotid sinus stimulates an area in the artery wall that contains nerve endings. These nerves respond to changes in blood pressure and are capable of slowing the heart rate. The response to this simple procedure often slows a rapid heart rate (for example, atrial flutter or atrial tachycardia) and can provide important diagnostic information to the physician."
I personallly found coughing and/or holding my breath while bearing down for 10 seconds or so to work at the start of an afib episode. As the others have said, once the afib has been going for awhile, it doesn't seem to work.
Must be instinct!! I always force myself to cough when PVC's get going. Never tried the other stuff, and never did any with the SVT. Kind of sounds like the "cure" for hiccups :-)
Though I must agree with ireneo...coughing or holding breath seems a bit more subtle then rushing off for a cold water fountain or doing a drop down push up in the middle of the mall....at the same time...whatever works is worth trying!!!!!
here is my method-I inhale in air, insert my thumb in mouth and blow hard then exhale slowly. has worked most of the time of my SVT attacks. a nurse at the hospital taught it to me, she said its the safest method...prevents hospital visits which is great
I was taught Valsalva at 6 y/o after having my first SVT episode. I used it for the next 54 years never once needing emergency intervention. For the uninitiated, I can describe it imagine trying to squeeze you lungs and diaphragm around your heart. This of course isn't what actually happens, but the results of are very effective.
The way I (use to) do it was to find a suitable seated position that would bring the knees up towards the chest; a staircase is ideal. Next I would take a shallow breath, and bear down, tightening my abdominal muscles. Bearing like your constipated may work, but if you have frequent SVT, you'll probably get a good case of hemorrhoids too. Keep the pressure up high and hold for perhaps 3 to 5 seconds. The abrupt change in vagal pressure may convert the episode.
Another method for conversion is by doing a headstand, but I never heard about that until lately. Valsalva is very subtle, and can be done In a public location without bringing any undue attention. I've performed it at while at church, seated in a restaurant, a theater, and many public place without causing attention.
When I got them for SVT I would take a deep breath in until I felt like my lungs were going to burst then breath out slowyly. If it didn't work the first time, I'd try it again. And everyone is right on when they say the sooner you do the manuever the better it works. I read from an er nurse who says she has patients lay flat on their back, take a deep breath in and then raise both legs slowly in the air. She said it works every time. I had an ablation so never tried the last one.
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