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Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia: improving diagnosis and management within the accident and emergency department
  1. S F O’Rourke1,
  2. A Sauvage2,
  3. P A Evans3
  1. 1Accident and Emergency Department, Tralee General Hospital, Tralee, Co Kerry, Republic of Ireland
  2. 2Accident and Emergency Department, West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, UK
  3. 3Accident and Emergency Department, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, Wales
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S F O’Rourke
 Accident and Emergency Department, Tralee General Hospital, Tralee, Co Kerry, Republic of Ireland;


Accident and emergency (A&E) senior house offices (SHOs) have difficulties in interpreting the electrocardiogram (ECG) in narrow complex tachycardia. Correct ECG interpretation is fundamental to patient management in paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. This study aimed to assess the ability of A&E SHOs to interpret the ECG in this setting. Correct diagnosis in 63% of cases improved to 86% with the introduction of a standard protocol sheet. Ensuring that SHOs follow agreed guidelines in rhythm recognition and management of PSVT improves patient care.

  • SHO, senior house officer
  • PSVT, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
  • ECG, electrocardiogram
  • paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.