Vagal manoeuvres are used to try to slow an episode of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). These simple manoeuvres stimulate the vagus nerve. This can sometimes slow the conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the heart. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying these.
Your doctor can show you how to do these procedures safely. Your doctor may recommend that you do these while you lie down on your back.
Vagal manoeuvres that you can try to slow your fast heart rate include:
Bearing down. Bearing down means that you try to breathe out with your stomach muscles but you don't let air out of your nose or mouth.
Putting an ice-cold, wet towel on your face.
Coughing or gagging.
Along with these, your doctor may sometimes try another vagal manoeuvre (called carotid sinus massage) in the emergency room to help slow your heart rate. This technique should only be performed by a doctor.
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine John M. Miller MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John M. Miller MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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