Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pulse check stress warning signs Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Supraventricular Tachycardia Paroxysmal Home Care

Home care for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia may include:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid decongestant medications.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Eat a healthy heart diet:
    • Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your total calories.
    • 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.
    • Low cholesterol diet.
    • Low salt diet.
    • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats
  • Learn how to take your own pulse.
  • If you have high blood pressure:
    • Learn how to take your blood pressure.
    • Check your blood pressure every day.
    • Keep a log of your results.
  • Take prescription medications as directed.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Paroxysmal Pulse Check

If you have paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, it is important to learn how monitor your pulse at home.

The pulse may be taken in a few locations, but the most commonly used location is the wrist.

Locations for Taking a Pulse

  • Wrist: the radial artery is located in the wrist crease, on the thumb-side. This is an excellent place to measure the pulse.
  • Neck: the carotid artery lies on either side of the Adam's apple, just in front of the large muscle in the neck. Check the pulse on one side only: never press on both carotid arteries at the same time.
  • Elbow: the brachial artery is located in the elbow crease, on the inner aspect of the elbow, next to the bicep tendon.
  • Groin: the femoral artery is located in the crease between the thigh and the abdomen, halfway between the pubic hair and the hip.
  • Ankle: the posterior tibial artery is located on the inside of the ankle, right behind the prominent bone, called the medial malleolus, on the inside aspect of the ankle.

In order to feel the pulse, place the tips of your index and middle fingers over the artery, and then press gently. Do not obstruct the flow through the vessel.

Interpreting Pulse Results
Count the number of pulsations that occur over 20 seconds, and then multiply this number by three. The result is the heart rate, or number of heartbeats per minute.

When measuring the pulse, try to assess the rate and the rhythm. Take note of an unsteady rhythm or extra beats. Report a rapid heart rate or extra beats to your doctor.

Normal Values for Resting Pulse
Age RangeAverage Beats Per Minute
1 month120-130
6 months120-130
1-2 years110-120
2-3 years100-110
4-5 years95-105
6-8 years90-100
10-12 years85-95
14 years75-85

Supraventricular Tachycardia Paroxysmal Stress

Tips to manage stress with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia:

  • Accept what you cannot change.
  • Allow yourself to cry.
  • Allow yourself to experience simple pleasures that give you joy.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Associate with people you enjoy and who treat you well.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Do not be dominated by one thing, such as work or relationships.
  • Do not feel guilty when you have to say "no" to extra duties or tasks.
  • Donate some of your time in order to help others.
  • Energize your body with regular exercise.
  • Engage in hobbies.
  • Fuel your body with healthy foods
  • Have the courage to be imperfect.
  • Make a list of all the stresses that cause you distress: dispose of the ones you can and reduce your exposure to the others as much as possible.
  • Practice relaxation and meditation.
  • Reevaluate and rearrange your priorities.
  • Schedule time for fun. Laughter dissolves tension.
  • Seek professional help when you are overwhelmed.
  • Stay on a regular sleep schedule.
  • Take a few minutes of quiet time each day.
  • Take responsibility for how you feel.
  • Talk with someone you trust.
  • Avoid stimulants, such as:

Supraventricular Tachycardia Paroxysmal Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and any of the following:

Normal Values for Resting Pulse
Age RangeAverage Beats Per Minute
1 month120-130
6 months120-130
1-2 years110-120
2-3 years100-110
4-5 years95-105
6-8 years90-100
10-12 years85-95
14 years75-85

Continue to Supraventricular Tachycardia Paroxysmal Complications

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Supraventricular Tachycardia Paroxysmal References
  1. Betts TR, Goldberger JJ, Kadish AH. Frequency and characteristics of progressive aberrancy during supraventricular tachycardia. Am J Cardiol. 2003 Sep 15;92(6):736-9. [12972123]
  2. Goebel PJ, Daya MR, Gunnels MD. Accuracy of arrhythmia recognition in paramedic treatment of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia: a ten-year review. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2004 Apr-Jun;8(2):166-70. [15060851]
  3. Losek JD, Endom E, Dietrich A, Stewart G, Zempsky W, Smith K. Adenosine and pediatric supraventricular tachycardia in the emergency department: multicenter study and review. Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Feb;33(2):185-91. [9922414]
  4. Porter MJ, Morton JB, Denman R, et al. Influence of age and gender on the mechanism of supraventricular tachycardia. Heart Rhythm. 2004 Oct;1(4):393-6. [15851189]
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