Hello, my name is Bryan Berkenbile. This is my presentation on the topic of dysrhythmia for biology 33, medical
terminology, at Los Angeles Valley College. Let us begin by dissecting the
word dysrhythmia. The prefix of the word, dys-, refers to abnormal or difficult. The
root word, rhythm, refers to the rhythm or rate the suffix of the word, -ia, refers to a
condition. All together, the word is defined as a condition of abnormal rhythm, or
rate, of the heartbeat. Another commonly used term for this condition is arrythmia.
The average adult heartbeat, or pulse, is between 60 to 90 beats per minute. The
rhythm of the heart can be determined through auscultation, a method of listening to
the heart with a stethoscope. The root word, auscultat, means to listen to. The
suffix of the word, -ion, means process. All together, the word is defined as the
process of listening to, in this case the heart. Another method for determining
heart rhythm is with the use of an electrocardiograph, or EKG. The combining form of the prefix, electro-, refers to electricity. The combining form of the
root word, cardio, refers to the heart. The suffix, -graph, refers to an instrument for
recording. All together, the word means an instrument for recording electrical
activity of the heart. An EKG involves electrodes being placed on the patient that monitor and record the
electrical impulses of the heart. One specific type of dysrhythmia is
bradycardia, or an abnormally slow heartbeat (below 60 beats per minute). The prefix, Brady-, means slow. The root word, card, means heart and the suffix, -ia,
means condition. Condition of a slow heart. Alternately, another type of dysrhythmia is
tachycardia, a heart rate over 100 beats per minute. The prefix, tachy-, means rapid.
The root word, card, means heart and the suffix, -ia, means condition. Tachycardia is the condition of a rapid heartbeat. When monitored with an EKG, the heart exhibits a repeating
wave form (seen here). Diastole refers to the relaxation phase of the heart cycle. During this phase, the heart muscle relaxes and the heart chambers fill
with blood. Systole refers to the contractive phase of the heart cycle.
During this phase, the heart muscle contracts forcing blood into
systemic circulation via the aorta and pulmonary circulation via the pulmonary artery. Other forms of
dysrhythmia include fibrillation. The root word, fibrillat, refers to fibrils or small fibers.
The suffix, -ion, refers to a process. So, a process of small fibers (of the heart in
this case). Fibrillation is the quivering or spontaneous contraction of individual muscle fibers. This results in an abnormal rhythm of the
heart and can be fatal without immediate intervention. Another form of dysrhythmia
is flutter. Flutter is defined as a pathological rapid heart beat that may cause cardiac output to decrease. With atrial flutter, the heartbeat can range from 200
to 400 beats per minute. An EKG recording of a heart flutter will have a
saw-tooth appearance, due to the rapid contractions. This has been my
presentation on the subject of dysrhythmia. Information contained in this presentation was taken from the textbook Medical Terminology for Health
Professionals, 8th edition, and images in this presentation can be found at the
URLs listed here. Thank you.