Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: skipped | heartbeats | PACs | PVCs

Skipped Heartbeats: Unsafe?

Friday, 30 March 2012 03:43 PM

Question: I am a 22 year old male and pretty fit. A while back I was having sensations like skipped heartbeats. A cardiologist ran some tests and everything seemed normal and perfect. He said not to worry. Now I notice that this sensation comes back when I lift heavy objects. My heart starts beating fast and feels like it skips beats. Should I get checked out again?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a flip-flop or skipped beat in your chest. Such skipped beats arising from the atria are called premature atrial contractions (PACs), while premature beats arising from the ventricles are called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). PACs and PVCs do not necessarily indicate heart disease. Many normal, healthy individuals, including athletes have PACs or PVCs. Premature ventricular contractions are very common — they occur in most people at some point. If you have occasional premature ventricular contractions, but you're an otherwise healthy person, there's generally no reason for concern, and no treatment is needed. However, they might also indicate the presence of potentially serious underlying heart disease. Your cardiologist must have told you which type of skipped beat you have. It is always a good thing to get checked up on a routine basis to see nothing abnormal is going on.

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Many normal, healthy people have skipped heart beats.
Friday, 30 March 2012 03:43 PM
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