Heart Rhythm Community
12.1k Members
460185 tn?1326081372

Irregular Heartbeat

I have a home BP monitor which I use every day.  Twice in two weeks it has said I had an irregular heartbeat.  I took another reading right after and at various times during the day and there were no more such readings.  This machine has also told me that I have moved when I haven't and that there is an electrical problem when there isn't (I've tested it).  The problem is that in March I had a heart attack and had a balloon/stent put in my artery so I am really aware and afraid of things going wrong.  Yesterday I was at the dr and there was nothing about an irregular heartbeat.  Is it possible that the BP machine is "off" or am I just denying that I might have a problem?  Wouldn't the cardiologist and family dr have told me if there were other problems?

5 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
I do not have any idea how your Blood Pressure monitor works, how it determines there is an irregular heartbeat.  My simple monitor gives me my BP and HR, and says nothing about irregularities, which I do have: AFib.  

Do you feel any irregularities?  Can you feel you pulse with your fingers and try to sense how regular it is?  This would be a good check against the BP machine, whatever it does.
187666 tn?1331176945
lonewolf - I added my two cents worth on your journal entry. And like Jerry, my BP machine doesn't have any symbol for irregular heart beat. If I'm trying to check my BP and my heart decides to dance at that moment, I just get an error message and have to do it again. You must have a deluxe model.
460185 tn?1326081372
Ireneo - I got your comments - thank you  = )

Jerry - I haven't felt any irregularities and no dr has ever mentioned them either.  Sometimes (according to the dr) we all have irregular heartbeats, even those who have never had a heart attack.  The dr has suggested a few times that I bring in the BP machine and compare it with hers.   The BP machine is supposed to "sense" irregular heartbeats but it has made other errors too.  I don't want to over-react but I don't want to just blame the machine so I think I'll phone her tomorrow and tell her about this and see what she wants to do.

765775 tn?1366028291
Does your BP machine operate on AC and DC current? The machines that operate on AC current as well as DC current are less likely to malfunction. The reason being is that the DC models tend to give eroneous readings when the batteries run down.

The other thing that could cause malfuntions is the cuff. Your cuff should be applied so that you can slip two fingers in both the bottom and top of the cuff before inflation.

The irregular heart rate that is picked up on these machines is skipped beats and erratic changes in pulse rates within about a minutes time.

I think you have a defective machine or a defective cuff as you didn't have any problems in the doctor's office. Most people's anxiety level increases in there which would stand to reason that you would have had an irregular heart rate while under the extra stress, but you never know.

My machine is made by Life Source and so far has been very reliable. It is AC/DC and I have gotten an irregular symbol several times. Most of the time I did notice that I had to readjust the cuff.

I also have a watch that detects my pulse via EKG and it is in sync with the BP machine. The watch will set off an alarm if an irregular heart beat or bradycardia or tachycardia is detected. Everytime I got an irregular symbol on my BP machine the watch was normal and the pulse on the watch and the BP machine matched. There were some instances before I had the watch though. lol

If I have PVC's or a skip I can feel them as Jerry said so I really do think the problem is with your machine or the cuff.

I hope this helps.
The LifeSource digital BP monitors do a good job of detecting pulse... however, the unit is programmed to only record the initial 10 sec of heart beats and then multiply by 6.  If you have PVCs or sporadic irregular heart beats, your pulse number and related symbol notification may not be correct.  You may have recorded a few erratic beats in that 10 sec period, and end up thinking your pulse is really high.  A good way to check is to utilize the old 2-finger on the wrist pulse check, right after you record a high pulse rate on your monitor.
460185 tn?1326081372
I spoke to the dr and she told me she thought it was the machine, especially since I have gotten bizarre readings before - like me moving when I'm not or the batteries are low when I'm using electricity.  Sometimes the machine is quite accurate and sometimes it just isn't.

Thank you all for your responses.  It helped so much.

Have an Answer?
Top Arrhythmias Answerers
1807132 tn?1318747197
Chicago, IL
1423357 tn?1511089042
Central, MA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
Salt in food can hurt your heart.
Get answers to your top questions about this common — but scary — symptom
How to know when chest pain may be a sign of something else
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.