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Question
Posted by: Janet | 2003/02/05

Foetal heart beat much too fast

My daughter in the UK was advised at her 16 week scan that the babie's heart beat was twice the normal rate, this despite it having been normal at 12 weeks. All other development was normal and the foetus was not showing any distress. This rate continued for 24 hours and she was referred to a cardiologist who informed her that there was an extra "circuit" which was acting like a pacemaker and causing the additional beats. The heart rate has now retuned to normal and appears to have stabilized over a 4 day period. She has been advised to return weekly for monitoring of the babie's heart, and at the time of birth an ECG will be done. Her ECG was normal.

Can you tell me what this might be and what the cause might be, as well as what the prognosis is? Everything else is normal according to the clinic. My daughter is a normal healthy married 27 year old who gave up smoking as soon as she realised she was pregnant.

I will be most grateful to receive some information as it is hard being so far away and not being able to speak to the doctor concerned, I realise that the information will be of a general nature.

Thank you in anticipation

Janet

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Janet, it’s probably nothing to worry about. There are certain disorders that cause an irregular heartbeat, but have no serious consequences. I don’t think that there is anything to worry about, but you will have your answer is as the baby is born. Good luck.

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