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Can a person's pulse rate fall so low?

Q: My father is 75 years old. He got himself checked at Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore six months back. There were no problems cited. However, last week his pulse came down to 20. He was admitted to a hospital and released after a week. At the hospital no blocks were found. However, the doctors at Kerala said that there was a blockage. Can a patient have such a low pulse rate?

A:Nature has provided the heart with capabilities of generating its own current (pacemaker) and then distributing that current through all chambers of the heart through a system called conduction system. If a patient has any problem with either the pacemaker or the electrical conducting system, then the pulse rate can drop to as low as 20. Majority of these problems need a pacemaker insertion following which a person is able to carry on activities to the same level as a normal person. Before the pacemaker is inserted however, one must do coronary angiography to check the arteries of the heart because sometimes the blockage in the conduction system may be temporary and related to the blockage in the arteries of the heart, which revert to normal once the blockages in the arteries are opened. I hope I have answered your queries to your satisfaction. However, if you have any further doubts please feel free to contact us and it shall be our pleasure to answer them.


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