Nearly everyone has felt their heart "skip a beat" or beat too slowly. Occasional heart palpitations are common and harmless, and can be caused by anything alcohol to staying up too late. These kind of palpitations don't require medical treatment, but recurrent heart palpitations usually do. More than 4 million Americans require treatment for heart palpitations. (Mayo Foundation). There are many different treatments to correct and prevent arrhythmias, which will be discussed later in the paper.
The heart is the most important muscle in the body, and is about the size of a fist. It is located under the rib cage, between the lungs. The heart has two sides, right and left, and each side is separated into two chambers, called the atrium and the ventricle. After the body uses oxygen that is in the blood,. the blood enters the heart through the right atrium. The right atrium then contracts and blood is pumped into the right ventricle, which then contracts and the blood is pumped into the lungs. While the blood is in the lungs, it is loaded with oxygen, and then the oxygen-rich blood goes to the left atrium. The left atrium then contracts and pumps the blood into the left ventricle, which then contracts and pumps the blood through the whole body. The organs and tissues take oxygen from the blood and then the blood goes back to the right atrium and re-starts the cycle. .
All the heart contractions are synchronized, meaning the atria contract together, and then the ventricles contract together. The muscles in the heart contract and pump blood because a small electric current activates them, which starts in the sinus node, also called the pacemaker. The electric current leaves the sinus node and travels through fibers to another area of the ventricles called the atrio-ventricular node, or the AV node. From here, the AV node sends the signals to the walls of the ventricles, which contract a fraction of a second after they have been filled with blood.