Heart Disease Risk Reduction Plan

For Lowell Roderick


Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart. Because of more electrical current throughout the heart, heartbeat is rapid causing tachycardia. This picture shows the EKG of someone suffering from WPW. Their QRS wave is much higher than that of a normal sinus due to the higher electrical current during an episode. These episodes are brought on by stress or exercise. WPW puts one in immediate risk of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to work more eventually causing it to give out. Lowell has a very low risk of heart attack at this point, however these results are lacking knowledge of WPW.

Risk Reduction Plan

1. Medication

Tambocor treats tachycardia and aides in maintaining a steady heartbeat. It works by blocking electrical signals in heart to steady heartbeat. Taken by mouth twice a day is not much of a burden. Dosage is determined by age and medical condition so Lowell's should be low and manageable for a high school kid. Side effects include fatigue, headache, nausea, and dizziness. This is the first option to be tried before any other methods of treatment for WPW.

2. Cardio version

A cardioversion delivers a shock to the heart that restarts sinus rhythm to a normal pace. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and must be preformed at the hospital. This is a but more extreme than medication because your heart is stopped with the shock and restarted again. This does not, however, to fix the problem all the time. But, since Lowell is a student this procedure is a good option because there is a higher success rate for younger people. Medication is taken after procedure to maintain the fix. Risks include blood clots, or a small burn from paddles.

3. Catheter Ablation Procedure

This plan is a permanent solution to WPW by destroying the extra electrical pathway. It has about a 95% success rate of ridding a person of symptoms, and can get them in and out of the hospital in one day with only a two hour procedure. During which a catheter enters through the groin to the heart. Once the catheter is at the extra electrical current doctors use heat energy or a freezing method to neutralize the electrical pathway. Following the procedure you will be monitored to see if an abnormal sinus rhythm is produced for a few hours. Aspirin might need to be taken following the ablation to prevent blood clots. Heart attack can occur from damage due to the catheter, however if neither of the previous plan worked, the ablation is a good option. If you are the 5% of which this procedure doesn't work a pacemaker could be installed.

Professionals to help

  1. Cardiologist will prescribe and preform procedures and medications to you.
  2. For patients with WPW it is recommended to have a counselor to discuss how it affects your life, and the differences that will need to be made in your life as opposed to your peers.
  3. Finally a genetic counselor could help when the time comes for kids since this condition is genetic. The genetic counselor can help show you the probability of passing WPW to your kid and talk you through that process.


Electrical Cardioversion for Atrial Fibrillation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/electrical-cardioversion-for-atrial-fibrillation

American Heart Association. (n.d.). Cardioversion. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Cardioversion_UCM_447318_Article.jsp#.VwP54_krLIU

Tambocor oral : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing - WebMD. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6116/tambocor-oral/details

Cardiac ablation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cardiac-ablation/basics/definition/prc-20022642

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000151.htm