Heart Block

The heart’s “natural” pacemaker is called the sinoatrial (SA) node or sinus node and is located in the right atrium. It produces electrical impulses that make your heart beat. The signal first stimulates the atria (upper chambers) to contract and pump blood into the ventricles (lower chambers). For your heart to beat properly, the signal must travel from the SA node down a specific path to reach the ventricles. As the signal goes from the atria to the ventricles, it passes through specialized conducting tissue called the atrioventricular (AV) node. Sometimes the electrical signal from the heart’s upper to lower chambers is impaired or doesn’t transmit. This may occur in the conduction pathway or in the AV node. This is “Heart Block” or “AV block”. Heart block is classified according to the level of impairment — first-degree heart block, second-degree heart block or third-degree (complete) heart block. (Also known as AV Block.)

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