An approach to the patient with a suspected tachycardia in the emergency department
CITATION: Chin, A., et al. 2016. An approach to the patient with a suspected tachycardia in the emergency department. South African Medical Journal, 106(3):246-250, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i3.10322.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Patients present to the emergency department with either an ongoing tachycardia or a history suspicious of a tachycardia. Either way, the tachycardia needs to be documented, preferably on a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) for diagnosis and management. If a tachycardia is not documented, a careful history of the palpitations should be taken to see if further monitoring and investigations are required. If a tachycardia is confirmed on an ECG, the clinician needs to classify it according to two variables: (i) regularity of the rhythm; and (ii) QRS width. This will allow a differential diagnosis to be made.