heart beat monitor advice needed

I have an irregular heart beat at times and 6 yers ago, I purchased a Garmine device to measure my heart rate. It , and another Garmine replacement didn't work, which I attributed to th irregular beat and were returned. Is there anything on the market today that would work with an irregular beat?  I have an ICD due to V TACH .


Heart RATE monitor?

by AgentX86 - 2020-03-24 23:13:31

Heart rate doesn't mean a lot with an irregular heartbeat. Pulse-Ox type sensors are unreliable unless you can control the position and won't be accurate (whatever that means) with an irregular heartbeat.  EKG styles often don't work well with EKG style sensors.  It's not clear why you want a this monitor or how you're going to use it but for my money the best diagnostic tool is the Alivecor Kardia Mobile. A pacemaker will interfere with its automatic Afib detection but it's not hard to learn how to read an EKG, at least at a high level.

Heart Beat Monitor

by Selwyn - 2020-03-25 08:11:16

Hi Ponch,

I find the Kardia device useful. It gives an ECG ( EKG) strip that may be printed out via .pdf file. You can also send this to their experts to get an opinion. As this is a single line ( as opposed to the 12 line read out on a full ECG) it is limited and not diagnostic.  It would certainly give you a heart rate and regularity ( by noting the big peaks of the ECG).

I am concerned that you have an arrhythmia that seems to be undiagnosed. Venticular tachycardia can lead to lack of heart beat ( hence your ICD), however, it would be useful to know what sort of arrhythmia is causing your irregularity. I would have thought prevention ( with medication) is better than cure ( defibrillation). 



by ponch - 2020-03-25 10:01:22

I have been having incidences of rapid heart beats and my ICD paces me out of them, yet I don't feel them and am unaware of them happening. All I want to do is be able to be able to stop any strenuous activity I may be involved with and sit out the rapid beat period. I am on verapamil which has kept these episodes at a minimun but  seems to now be losing its effectiveness.



by Gemita - 2020-03-25 13:36:34

Hello Ponch,  

Has your doctor suggested wearing an external monitor for a period of 7-10 days or longer ?  This would give them valuable information about the type of tachycardia you are experiencing (regular, irregular, atrial or ventricular and its frequency and speed).  Alternatively, do you have home monitoring and are you able to transmit a download direct to your pacemaker clinic for analysis as and when you feel your palpitations/symptoms.  They can then analyse them and perhaps recommend an alternative medication or a higher dose of verapamil to treat them.

I see you have an ICD but assume you only get a shock when the device detects a serious, life threatening cardiac arrhythmia, so your clinic wouldnt necessarily be made aware of what is happening on a day to day basis, particularly if your palpitations are largely benign, short lasting or your heart rate is not dangerously high.

If you want to be in control yourself with a monitor, I agree with the previous contributors that the Kardia mobile, especially the new 6 lead one is very useful and you can record when you are having symptoms and then send a copy of the result(s) to your doctors for a full analysis.  I like the idea of being in control and recording when we are symptomatic.  I also use a good BP monitor and it gives me arrhythmia detection and heart rate as well as fluctuating blood pressure values.  But I can usually tell what arrhythmia is present, whether it is regular or irregular from my symptoms alone.  I also feel my pulse for confirmation of speed and rhythm of arrhythmia.  I have also suffered bursts of Ventricular Tachycardia although these are now under control.

My rapid heart beats seem to occur at any time.  My pacemaker though does a very good job of pacing me out of many of my arrhythmias.  I have Atrial Fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response rate and rates can hit worrying levels within seconds and cause instability.  I have never tried Verapamil which is a calcium channel blocker.  I am taking Bisoprolol, a beta blocker.  I took Flecainide, an antiarrhythmic med also for several years but have now stopped.  

I hope that your doctors can help you identify and control your tachy arrhythmias.  It is fairly normal for one particular med to lose its effectiveness over time which is why we need to keep monitoring the situation.  Good luck

If you don't feel it how would you stop?

by BOBTHOM - 2020-03-26 22:14:10

If you don't feel it when it happens how would you know to stop the activity your doing while it's happening?  I'm guessing what your looking for is more of a continuos monitor than what is offered by the Kardia Mobil.  If you find one please send me a message.  In the meantime, what I do, is I keep a diary.  Then when I get the report from the quarterly (now 6 month) device checks and use the summary list to compare to my diary.  I've found very few times that I could actualy map an activity to the VT.  There were 2 occasions, one that occured when I first was contacted by my attorney regarding my disability case, and then the following day when I recieved the official notice that it had been approved.  So, stress related!  I'm currently on 2 1/2 mg bisoprolol daily and 100 amiodarone every other day, seems to have helped a little.  Good luck!

Thanks all. esp Bobthom

by ponch - 2020-03-26 22:43:14

Bobthom, your guess is correct.  All I want is something to tell me if my heart is beating  too rapidly. I also kept a diary, and could find no correlation with any activity for 8 years.  But the last two occasions happened during some physical activity and that has me concerned that this is now a trigger. Will continue the diary looking for more evidence. Tx again.


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My eight year old son had a pacemaker since he was 6 months old. He does very well, plays soccer, baseball, and rides his bike. I am so glad he is not ashamed of his pacemaker. He will proudly show his "battery" to anyone.