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Question!! Those Of You Who Faint/can't Catch Breath!!


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I am hoping I can get some quick ideas, suggestions or whatever...

A family friend is in the hospital. He is 29 years old, thin, otherwise in good health. His mom called me tonight with some questions because she knew I have "heart problems." In the past few weeks he has been almost gasping for breath at times...especially out of sleep. He can usually get out of it by taking a few deep breaths. The other day, he fainted and was taken to the hospital. Is this something that happens to you?

The doctors want to do an ep study on him and possible ablation. They are not thinking heart failure or blockage at this point. I told her that an ep and ablation would be contraindicated if he had orthostatic intolerance. Am I right?

Any experiences with fainting and catching your breath would be welcome!! They don't know what is wrong. He had a normal ekg and echo.

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Guest tearose

Gosh, this is a difficult problem!

Many things can go undetected and be the cause of SOB... like fluid in the lungs.

I think it is hard to brainstorm with you because so much is at stake and we don't know enough about him.

An ablation is a pretty serious proceedure so I hope he gets a second opinion...however if his physicians feel he is having SVT's dangerous enough OR he has some other dangerous issues...it may be just what is needed.

I hope wherever this friend is, that he has good caretakers.

best regards, tearose

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i dont know what this catching breath thing is but ive had it many times and i didnt have anything they could find on an echo or ekg or holter same thing i have pots...thats all i know i have so far like tea rose said we dont really have enough info to determine ourselves what we htink this could be in his case,,,,,,do u think he has pots>

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Hopefully he's been on a holter or event monitor. Sometimes waking out of a sleep gasping can be sleep apnea or pauses in heart rythms. An ekg won't necessarily pick this up, unless he's having a pause or brady cardia at the time......It sounds like he needs some more testing, before they go plowing in there.

Ablation is not indicated with POTS, but who knows what the problem is???? Can't diagnose, but personally wouldn't do anything invasive at this point but diagnostic tests, and that wouldn't include eps..... unless they have seen something specifically to do it for....morgan

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I also get short of breath. I'm not sure I understand how it relates to pots/ncs, and neither do my docs. I don't know if my local docs just have limited experience, but i've been told sob is not typically a symptom...and it worries me every time, since they can't just tell me it's a piece of my ncs. i now get less freaked out when presyncopal, because i understand it--the sob i don't.

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Shortness of breath with fainting that comes on suddenly in an otherwise healthy person can be a sign of arrythmia (due to a heart conduction problem) or due to an underlying disorder (i.e., vitamin deficiency, metabolic problem, etc.). Why they'd want to do an EP study if the tests were normal is beyond me -- that's a very expensive test that often yields no answers. I'd make sure he asks for a CBC and chem panel, just to make sure it's not being caused by another problem, like low electrolytes or something. These are certainly easier to fix.

Amy

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