Heart & Cardiology/Skipping heart beat


I get this skipped beat feeling in my chest throughout the day.  It may happen up to several times per hour or just a few times a day.  I donít feel like Iím going to pass out, but it is just unsettling.  In the ER they did an EKG, blood work, x-ray, and echocardiogram and they said nothing was life threatening and that everything looked good.  Is this anything I need to worry about?

Hi Gibson,

Palpitations are very common, we all get them, even if we don't all feel them, in facts we all have skipped beats / extra beats etc a fact proven in studies than continuously monitored people over time.  Some people are much more sensitive to them, where as someone may get some skips and shrug them off, others will get just a few and be very scared and literally feel like they are going to die, which is understandable as its a situation where they don't know whats hapenning and they feel out of control.

A general approach to these skipped beats is as follows. If they are associated with no symptoms whatsoever other than the symptoms of skipped beats then they are very unlikely to be dangerous particularly if they last a few seconds only and are not frequent. If they are associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or passing out. They need investigation. Depending on the urgency and intensity of the situation they may need investigation straight away. If they are frequent or long lasting then they likely also need investigation.

The ER's job is to basically see who needs admitting for the palpitations and who doesn't. Not to give definitive answers to problems. The good thing is that the normal EKG, echo, and blood work (likely to rule out a heart attack) are very reassuring in this situation. That generally removes the need to panic.

The next step is to go investigate why then are occurring and their significance. They are likely benign. But simple blood tests and potentially the use of monitors to 'catch' and diagnose them may be useful. Although there is likely no cause for concern, go see your physician and try get to the bottom of it, as its obviously concerning to you.

Some useful further reading at : http://blog.myheart.net

Hope that was helpful!

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Mustafa Ahmed MD


Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Hypertension, Pulmonary Embolism, Structural and Valve Disease


Board Certification Internal Medicine and Cardiology Interventional and Structural Cardiology


Multiple Publications In High Quality Peer Reviewed Journals. Internationally Recognized.

MD from The Royal Victoria University of Manchester, England Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Research Training - University of Alabama

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