Heart & Cardiology/Heart Rythym


Age: 22
Weight: 18 and a half stone
Height: 5ft 9
Blood pressure: Normal
Medication: cipralex, codeine, ibuprofen, ponstan, tranexamic acid, vaniqa cream


I have in the past suffered from ectopic beats since around age 12 or so. I have had numerous normal resting ECGs and have had heart tracings as part of medical procedures, e.g. surgery, all normal.

My question is simply, a few weeks ago I suffered a series of "skips". I kept coughing to stop them, I must have felt 4 skips, maybe 5 and they stopped. I felt no ill effects other than panic and slight dizziness, pulse was normal straight afterwards and I managed to carry on normal activities.

I forgot about it until recently, and when I googled discovered that more than 3 beats indicates an episode of VT.

I am terrified that I have experienced this, and worried in case it happens again, God forbid, and I end up seriously ill.

I spoke to a GP today who says it sounds like nothing to worry about but I don't feel reassured?

Any advice appreciated.

Hello Linda,

Skipped beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any cardiac catastrophe.
More than three in a row are termed VT, but they are still harmless, just a nuisance in someone with normal heart structure and function.  It would reassure me if you got an echocardiogram to be certain your heart's structure and function are okay.

Please write back if this note doesn’t 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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