NASPE - Heart Rhythm Society, incorporated in 1979, has a membership of
approximately 3,500 physicians and associated professionals from the
United States, Canada, Mexico and many other countries. NASPE - Heart
Rhythm Society is the dominant professional group representing the
allied specialties of cardiac pacing and cardiac electrophysiology in
North America and plays an important role not only in education but
also as an intermediary between government regulatory agencies and
members of the profession..
NASPE - Heart Rhythm Society maintains an active program of interaction
with the administrative and legislative arms of the government on
issues of relevance to the public, and the pacemaker,
electrophysiologic, cardiac arrythmology, and patient communities.
Examples of these issues include questions concerning appropriate
reimbursement for a procedure, federal oversight on the safety and
effectiveness of medical devices, guidelines for medical practice, etc.
NASPE-Heart Rhythm Society's policies are established by the Board of
Trustees based on counsel from the NASPE - Heart Rhythm Society
Committee on Health Policy.
Diseases & Disorders
by an Educational Grant from the Guidant Foundation
Disturbances of the normal heart
rhythm, or cardiac "arrhythmias," are extremely common. They may
present as feelings of "palpitations," lightheadedness, shortness of
breath, or truly passing out. They occur in people of all ages and in
many cases may be totally without symptoms. On occasion, these
arrhythmias may be dangerous, if not deadly, and their first
presentation may be that of sudden cardiac death in a patient
previously without symptoms.
Thankfully, we have improved methods
of distinguishing those arrhythmias that are of little concern from
those of a more serious nature. Important advances in monitoring the
heart rhythm have allowed us to determine what heart rhythm
disturbances are actually being experienced by any given patient. More
importantly, we have developed certain techniques that allow us to
determine an individual's risk for a more serious arrhythmia
before they actually demonstrate one. These methods of risk
stratification have become increasingly employed to identify patients
who may benefit from preventive therapy, most notably implanted devices
called defibrillators that can shock the heart out of an otherwise
fatal heart rhythm disturbance.
This special section of the
NASPE-Heart Rhythm Society web site is designed to address important
features of cardiac arrhythmias-what are the signs and symptoms, what
factors are responsible for increasing one's risk, what are the
appropriate tests in approaching an arrhythmia or predicting its
occurrence, and what treatments are available to prevent and/or treat
heart rhythm disturbances. We hope that you will find this
invaluable and pass it on to your family, friends, and colleagues. It
is said that if one saves one life, one may save the world-let us
attempt together to save many, by educating ourselves and others about
this extremely important medical condition.