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Old 09-07-2003, 09:47 AM   #1
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MissCassie101 HB User
Post A friend with SVT: If she has an attack, what do I do?

Hello, my name is Cassie and I have a friend that has SVT. It really worries me sometimes because she doesn't like to mention to anyone that it's bothering her, or if she's having any complications, but I always find out whether through vibes, or just by the paleness in her face. We are both members of a Drill Team and so it takes a lot out of us, but there are many members and we are all very close and always always watching out for each other. She's had a few attacks already and it really scares me because it is related to the heart and I can tell it really hurts her. Last week we were walking through the halls to our next class from practice and I could tell she wasn't looking good, and earlier that morning she had a bad attack. I told her I was going to walk her to her next class, but she said she would be fine. I refused of course, because I got one of those feelings again. Sure enough, I was right. Her hands started to shake really bad, and I told her I needed to take her to the nurse and as always she denied anything was wrong. I could tell her heart rate was going up and she looked dizzy and she stopped walking. I was looking around (we were in this part of the building where everyone gathers to talk in between classes) and I couldn't find any drill team members, because we are the only ones who really know what to do. Finally I found two other girls and when they came over my friend started to have breathing problems and she fell on the ground. She tried passing out and she was shaking, but I could tell despite the fact she was hurting she was more worried about the people gathering around (which made me a little mad because they just stood there watching...) she started to pass out but we gave her water and wouldn't let her close her eyes. Then started to fan her off. It was all just instincts. But if this ever happens again do I need to do anything particularly to make sure nothing goes from bad to worse? Anything would be of use, and I don't wanna ask my friend because she doesn't want people worrying about her. I am so thankful I didn't listen to her when she said she'd be fine going to her next class, because if I wasn't there and she started having the attack no one of the other students would have known what to do. Even though when it comes down to it she will mention something is wrong. One time she had to go get a wheelchair for another girl on the team and she asked me to go with her because her heart was feeling funny and she was afraid she'd pass out. I just love her a lot and I want to make sure I take care of her right if anything happens - I hope I'm not sounding immature or anything. Like I said our team is very close, and although many of us have health problems it brings us even closer. Some of them have seizures, some have heart problems like my friend, diabetes, fainting illness, asthma, and hypoglycimia(sp?) and others... and I know how to react with each of those and well-educated but not so much with my friend with SVT. I've known her for five years and I want to be there for her in the best possible ways. Please any advice would be appreciated.

Cassie*

 
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Old 09-07-2003, 03:00 PM   #2
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Kat118 HB User
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Hi Cassie -
My 14 year old son had SVT and just 2 weeks ago underwent a procedure (Catheter Ablation) to have it corrected.
It's a very scary feeling watching someone have an SVT attack. I hope your friend has a good cardiac doctor who can tell her about some self-help techniques she can use to help shorten the attack.
If the techniques aren't effective, there are different medicines available.
We decided to go ahead with the procedure.
Please encourage your friend to talk to her cardiologist about her options.
She's lucky to have such supportive friends!
Good luck!

 
Old 09-10-2003, 07:25 AM   #3
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ddart HB User
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissCassie101:
Hello, my name is Cassie and I have a friend that has SVT. It really worries me sometimes because she doesn't like to mention to anyone that it's bothering her, or if she's having any complications, but I always find out whether through vibes, or just by the paleness in her face. We are both members of a Drill Team and so it takes a lot out of us, but there are many members and we are all very close and always always watching out for each other. She's had a few attacks already and it really scares me because it is related to the heart and I can tell it really hurts her. Last week we were walking through the halls to our next class from practice and I could tell she wasn't looking good, and earlier that morning she had a bad attack. I told her I was going to walk her to her next class, but she said she would be fine. I refused of course, because I got one of those feelings again. Sure enough, I was right. Her hands started to shake really bad, and I told her I needed to take her to the nurse and as always she denied anything was wrong. I could tell her heart rate was going up and she looked dizzy and she stopped walking. I was looking around (we were in this part of the building where everyone gathers to talk in between classes) and I couldn't find any drill team members, because we are the only ones who really know what to do. Finally I found two other girls and when they came over my friend started to have breathing problems and she fell on the ground. She tried passing out and she was shaking, but I could tell despite the fact she was hurting she was more worried about the people gathering around (which made me a little mad because they just stood there watching...) she started to pass out but we gave her water and wouldn't let her close her eyes. Then started to fan her off. It was all just instincts. But if this ever happens again do I need to do anything particularly to make sure nothing goes from bad to worse? Anything would be of use, and I don't wanna ask my friend because she doesn't want people worrying about her. I am so thankful I didn't listen to her when she said she'd be fine going to her next class, because if I wasn't there and she started having the attack no one of the other students would have known what to do. Even though when it comes down to it she will mention something is wrong. One time she had to go get a wheelchair for another girl on the team and she asked me to go with her because her heart was feeling funny and she was afraid she'd pass out. I just love her a lot and I want to make sure I take care of her right if anything happens - I hope I'm not sounding immature or anything. Like I said our team is very close, and although many of us have health problems it brings us even closer. Some of them have seizures, some have heart problems like my friend, diabetes, fainting illness, asthma, and hypoglycimia(sp?) and others... and I know how to react with each of those and well-educated but not so much with my friend with SVT. I've known her for five years and I want to be there for her in the best possible ways. Please any advice would be appreciated.

Cassie*
My daughter is 9 years old and she has had SVT since she was 5. She has been on 4 different medications, she is now taking Sotalol which controls her episodes pretty well. If she has an episode at school, she can stand on her head and it will slow her heart rate down. It is called a vagal maneuver. She can try that or blow real hard on her thumb,or tense the stomach muscles (like bearing down to have a bowel movement). If she is having a lot of episodes she should talk to her doctor about medication. My daughter got to the point were she was passing out. We tried the surgery also, but it was not successful for her. She usually only has episodes now if it is very hot outside and she runs around a lot. Hope this helps!

 
Old 09-12-2003, 01:09 PM   #4
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Posts: 39
heart4321 HB User
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Hey Cassie. I'm 14, so I'm probably around your age. I get palpiations, and I was referred to a ped. cardiologist so I went and it's possible that I have SVT, but I know the symptoms and everything well. If your friend is having SVT frequently and it interferes with her life she should probably think about getting medicine for it. Like someone else here said, I was told to do a vagal manuever to try to make it stop. Okay, I know you don't want your friend to know that you're asking about her and everything, but next time tell her to try hold her breath and try to make her face red or to do a headstand somewhere (where other people aren't around) and see if it stops. Tell her you saw it somewhere, or something like that. SVT isn't usually life threatening, but it can be scary. I hope your friend has a good cardiologist that she goes to for periodic check ups. That's really important. Well good luck!

 
Old 09-18-2003, 04:01 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Amston, CT USA
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DTemple HB User
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I was diagnosed with SVT at around the age of 30. It got increasingly more frequent, the episodes lasted longer and it would wipe me out for two or three days. By the time I reached 40, I was almost at the point of blacking out. (syncope) My cardiologist referred me to an electrophysiologist. I opted for a radio frequency ablation in 1998. The procedure was painless and I was home that same evening. Since 1998 I have not had one episode of SVT. I still have a sensitive heart - I get occasional PVCs if I am tired or sick or emotional. The onset of my SVT, by the way, was usually brought on by stress, fatigue, caffeine (I quit coffee and chocolate seven years ago)or emotional distress. My SVT was called AV node reentrant tachycardia. They ablated the "extra" pathway of cells in my AV node. The technology they have now is incredible and this is a safe procedure with an almost 80% success rate (from what I was told). I would be happy to relate any other information to anyone who wants it.

 
Old 09-18-2003, 04:05 PM   #6
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DTemple HB User
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As far as your friend goes, when she is having an episode, she should lie down (no matter where she is), I once did this in a parking lot - on her left side. I found that the most comforting position. None of the other procedures worked for me. By lying down, it will prevent her from blacking out and it might allow her to convert to normal rhythmn faster. This is NOT a life threatening condition, but she should definitely see a specialist.

 
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