Clinical Presentations and Findings

The clinical presentation of an infant or child with PSVT will differ depending on the duration of the arrhythmia and the presence/absence of an underlying heart defect or myocardial dysfunction. The increased rate of PSVT may cause a decrease in:

Click here for Normal Pediatric Vital Sign Parameters

These physiologic effects on the heart will create a number of different signs and symptoms in the pediatric patient. Parents may seek care for their infant with concerns regarding:

An infant with no underlying cardiac dysfunction may sustain PSVT for up to 24 hours before developing more severe signs and symptoms such as:

Children and adolescents may present with complaints of chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, or shortness of breath. If PSVT lasts for more than 30 minutes, this age group may often feel ill and have:

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia often occurs during daytime restful periods, such as when the child is sitting, reading, watching television, or in the 5-10 minutes after exercising. Common preceding events may include:

PSVT rarely occurs at night. It most often occurs between 10 am and 4 pm and is thought to be related to daytime sympathetic activity.

As the nurse caring for a child with PSVT, you may obtain any of the above data from the patient history, in addition to assessing any of the following:

Click here for quick reference to the Continuum of PSVT Symptoms in Children

Instant Feedback:

PSVT often occurs when the child is asleep at night.