Cardiac Dysrhythmias Quiz

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14 Questions

Which characteristic distinguishes atrial complexes in atrial flutter from those in normal sinus rhythm?

Sawtooth shape resembling picket fence

What may result from one or more F waves being blocked by the AV node in atrial flutter?

Several F waves before each QRS complex

In atrial flutter, what is the usual measure of the QRS complex?

0.11 seconds (110 ms) or less

What may be administered to a stable but symptomatic patient with atrial flutter?

Beta-blocker or calcium channel blocker

Why are patients with atrial flutter often prescribed anticoagulant medications?

Same risk of thromboembolism as patients with atrial fibrillation

What can atrial flutter degenerate into?

Atrial fibrillation

When may synchronized cardioversion be necessary in atrial flutter?

If the patient is unstable

What characterizes atrial fibrillation (AF) on an ECG strip?

No visible P wave

Why does atrial fibrillation (AF) increase the risk of stroke?

Blood clot formation in the fibrillating atria

What is the recommended treatment for stable but symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) patients?

Anticoagulant medications and beta-blockers

What is the main characteristic of atrial flutter?

Atrial impulse firing at a rate too fast for the ventricles

What is the key consideration in administering medication to patients with WPW and Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome?

Avoiding medication that slows or blocks conduction through the AV node

What is the recommended treatment for unstable patients with atrial fibrillation (AF)?

Synchronized cardioversion

What is the characteristic appearance of atrial fibrillation (AF) on an ECG strip?

Irregularly irregular appearance

Study Notes

Atrial Flutter

  • Atrial complexes in atrial flutter are distinguished from those in normal sinus rhythm by their sawtooth pattern.
  • When one or more F waves are blocked by the AV node, it may result in a pause or irregular rhythm.
  • The QRS complex is usually normal in atrial flutter.
  • A stable but symptomatic patient with atrial flutter may be administered antiarrhythmic medications, such as ibutilide or dofetilide, to convert the rhythm to normal sinus rhythm.

Anticoagulation and Atrial Flutter

  • Patients with atrial flutter are often prescribed anticoagulant medications to reduce the risk of stroke.

Atrial Fibrillation

  • On an ECG strip, atrial fibrillation (AF) is characterized by a rapid, irregular rhythm with no distinct P waves.
  • Atrial fibrillation (AF) increases the risk of stroke because the irregular rhythm can lead to blood stagnation in the atria, resulting in thrombus formation.
  • The recommended treatment for stable but symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) patients is rate control with medications such as beta blockers or calcium channel blockers, or rhythm control with antiarrhythmic medications or cardioversion.

Atrial Flutter vs. Atrial Fibrillation

  • The main characteristic of atrial flutter is a regular, sawtooth pattern of atrial complexes.
  • Atrial flutter can degenerate into atrial fibrillation.

Cardioversion and Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

  • Synchronized cardioversion may be necessary in atrial flutter if the patient is unstable or symptomatic.
  • In patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome, the key consideration in administering medication is to avoid exacerbating the accessory pathway conduction.
  • Unstable patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) require immediate cardioversion to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Test your knowledge of cardiac dysrhythmias and their management with this quiz. Topics include atrial fibrillation, ventricular rhythms, and medication considerations. Perfect for medical students, nurses, and healthcare professionals.

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