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Be Still My Beating Heart

Excitement in the OB Unit


Author(s)

Giuliana M. DiMarco
Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience
Rutgers University
giuliana.dimarco@rutgers.edu
Nitish Mittal
School of Medicine
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
nitish.mittal@ttuhsc.edu
Hannah E. Olvera
School of Medicine
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Breanna N. Harris
Biological Sciences
Texas Tech University
breanna.n.harris@ttu.edu

Abstract

This case study follows a group of fictitious medical students during their obstetrics rotation as they meet “Brittany,” a woman who is 35-weeks pregnant and experiencing tachycardia and shortness of breath. The medical students review the basics of electrocardiogram (ECG) testing and various types of arrhythmia and eventually narrow down the problem to either atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT) or Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. Students who complete the four sections of this case study will learn the components of an ECG and what they represent (Part I), interpret Brittany’s ECG results and identify how they differ from a typical ECG (Part II), choose the best diagnosis for Brittany based on her symptoms and test results (Part III), and suggest a proper treatment for the pregnant patient (Part IV). The case is appropriate for an undergraduate human anatomy and physiology course for allied health students, an introductory biology course, and possibly a comparative physiology course.


Objectives

  • Differentiate and define parts of an electrocardiogram (ECG).
  • Draw a typical ECG trace.
  • Use an ECG trace to calculate heart rate.
  • Describe atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
  • List some common treatments for AVNRT.
  • Describe the mechanism of action of beta-blockers.

Keywords

Arrhythmia; heart; tachycardia; pregnancy; ECG; EKG; electrocardiogram; AVRT; AVNRT; Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome; WPW;

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Medicine (General)  |   Nursing  |   Physiology  |  


Date Posted

05/10/2021

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