Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Palpitations at rest
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Palpitations at rest

I am 16 years old girl and already a few days my heart palpitations. Do not get stressed, do not drink any alcohol and any caffeine, not smoke. This may indicate a heart pounding heart disease? In the four years I was sent to theÿ echocardiography without cardiac problems only preventive pediatrician that due to my hydrocephalus exclude hypoplastic heart syndrome. This syndrome was excluded by echocardiography.So what would it be? Heart disease? If it was this, what is the treatment?

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Dear Jana,

Palpitations can be an indication of an arrhythmia or they can be an indication of inadequate fluid intake, which is common in adolescents.  Without evaluating you, I cannot say for sure what is causing your problem.  Unfortunately, an echocardiogram only tells you about the anatomy of the heart without addressing the heart rhythm at the time of the palpitations.  At minimum, I would recommend that you take in 32-48 ounces/day of fluid and a salty snack, not skip meals, and limit caffeine intake.  If your symptoms are persistent despite that, you should see a pediatric cardiologist for further evaluation.  As well, if you have persistent palpitations that last at least 20 minutes, you should be evaluated in an emergency department to ensure that there isn't an arrhythmia.
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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