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Heart & Cardiology/just been diagnosed with psvt's


I was reading one of your responses and said something about these the Valsalva, eye rub and carotid massage maneuvers being able to stop them.  Can you please send me instructions?  Thank you.

Hello Karen,

Maneuvers to stop SVT

Lie down for 5 minutes.  If in airplane, lie as flat as you can get the seat.
Still lying down, do a Valsalva maneuver.  Take a breath in, then exhale but donít let air escape from your chest.  Close mouth and hold nose if necessary.  Strain down hard as if to move bowels for about 5 seconds.
Repeat above once.
Massage a carotid sinus.  The carotid sinuses are on either side of the windpipe and a little behind it.  Rub firmly on one carotid pulse as high in your neck as you can feel the pulse for about 3 seconds.  If that fails, rub the other sinus firmly for 3 seconds.  If that fails, rub both simultaneously for about 3 seconds.
If all that fails, ask your doctor to see how well youíre doing the Valsalve and to mark where in your neck the carotid sinus are likely to be.
If all that fails , consider medicines like flecainide or verapamil, and if they fail to control the SVT, consider ablation.

Please write back if this note doesnít answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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