Diagnosing and Treating Heart Arrhythmias

By Mark Nosacka, CEO Good Samaritan Medical Center.
The heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood through the body and beats about 100,000 times a day. Normally, electricity flows through the heart and produces the familiar thumping pattern heard through a stethoscope. But if an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, is detected, an electrophysiology study may be recommended to determine the cause of the abnormal rhythm.

Image: Mark Nosacka, CEO Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Mark Nosacka


Electrophysiology tests are commonly performed to identify where an arrhythmia is in the heart and find the best course of treatment. Information generated during these tests can also predict a future cardiac event, evaluate the effectiveness of certain medications to control the irregular heartbeat, and/or decide if an implantable defibrillator, pacemaker or catheter ablation procedure is necessary.

Good Samaritan Medical Center cares for patients with known or suspected cardiovascular diseases through its Cardiac and Vascular Institute. The institute offers electrophysiology services through its new EP lab, which includes highly advanced equipment designed to diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms.

An electrophysiology test typically lasts between two and four hours but may take longer if additional treatments are performed at the same time.

Heart RhythmAbnormal results from an electrophysiology test can identify numerous conditions, such as atrial fibrillation (abnormal electrical discharges in the heart that cause an irregular heartbeat), ventricular tachycardia (rapid heartbeats that start in the ventricles), and Wolff-Parkinson- White syndrome (a condition in which there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart).

The Cardiac & Vascular Institute at Good Samaritan Medical Center has a team of highly skilled cardiologists, heart surgeons and other health care professionals who care for patients with known or suspected coronary heart disease. Good Samaritan is also an accredited Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) through the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation provide more efficient and effective evaluation, as well as appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms.

To learn more about your heart, attend our free heart health screening events that occur the second Thursday of every month. Register online at GoodSamaritanMC.com.