Irregular Heartbeat More Than Just a Nuisance

Linda Munoz had been rushed to Stanford Hospital & Clinics on a Life Flight helicopter. The 28-year-old pregnant woman was suffering mysterious heart problems, and doctors feared that they could make delivery not only more difficult, but potentially fatal —for both her and her unborn child.

In the late third trimester of her pregnancy, Munoz's heart had started racing and would not relent. Mintu Turakhia, MD, MS, a cardiac electrophysiologist, was on call for the Stanford Arrhythmia Service on the day she arrived. "It was quite scary," he said. "She was having palpitations that had gotten much worse over the course of her pregnancy. The arrhythmia was becoming more sustained and more rapid.