What should I do if I get COVID and have arrhythmia?

Today, we're speaking with Dr Margarida Pujol López, Cardiologist at Barcelona l'Hospital Clínic, about the relationship between Covid 19 and arrhythmia. During March and April, Dr Pujol was working in a "COVID ICU" as a cardiologist and explains her perspective and experience to us.

 

Any heart disease that is already present or that occurs at the same time as COVID-19 has a higher complication risk, due to the fact that the disease causes fever and general affectation of the body, reducing its response capacity.

 

During the peak of the pandemic, there were cases of patients who had arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation, palpitations or neurological/stroke symptoms) at home and who were not seen due to fear of contracting COVID in the hospital. It is very important to go to hospital during the pandemic in case of fast palpitations, chest pain, very slow heart or syncope.

 

  • How can it affect me if I get infected and have AF or arrhythmia?

If I get COVID, I must contact the health system (medical emergencies; Primary Care centre; hospital) to find out what I should do. You must take the necessary measures to avoid infecting other people. If I have a heart condition, I may have a higher risk of developing arrhythmia. Be aware of the appearance of symptoms such as palpitations (rapid and irregular heartbeat), fatigue or chest pain. If they appear, you should consult your doctor because you may need  to start medication.

 

One of the most serious consequences of atrial fibrillation is stroke or embolism that causes loss of strength in the limbs, speech disorders or disorientation. In case of suspected embolism, call 061 or 112 urgently. It is also important to call the emergency services during the peak of the pandemic.


If COVID causes very serious pneumonia and I have to be admitted to the ICU, I will be monitored by health professionals who will treat me and in the event of arrhythmia they will control and treat it.