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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18986
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My 17 year old daughter has a very rapid pulse and heart beat.

Resolved Question:

My 17 year old daughter has a very rapid pulse and heart beat. She is also dizzy and has a very sore throat - is there anything I can give her to calm this down? thanks, Niamh
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
How fast is the pulse?
Is she having any other symptoms, such as fever, congestion, or cough?
Is the dizziness a sensation of lightheadedness or spinning?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Her pulse is very fast - just counted 23 in 10 seconds. Also she does have fever, and cough - the dizziness is like dots appearing in front of her eyes.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
How high is the fever?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Fever is quite high - I don't have a thermometer so can't measure exactly - using a cold face cloth to cool her down.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

There are several issues to consider in this situation. If she is having a severe sore throat and a high fever, then she should be seen to be certain whether Strep throat is present.

Until she can be seen, there are several interventions that can be done at home to help ease symptoms. A high fever will commonly cause a rapid heart rate, so easing the fever will typically also help ease the rapid heart rate. This can be done by using paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. Either drug alone can be used, but in a person with a more severe fever, it may be necessary to alternate between the two drugs. A cool cloth may be soothing, but it usually will not actually lower the temperature. However, using warm water on the skin of the entire body will actually help lower the fever. This is best accomplished by sitting in a tub with shallow warm water and sponging the water over the body and allowing it to evaporate. It is the process of evaporation that carries heat away from the body and lowers the temperature.

It also will help lower the pulse to be drinking plenty of fluids. An acute infection and fever will cause the body to lose fluid, and the dehydration will contribute to the elevated pulse and the dizziness. Drinking plenty of fluids to improve hydration will also help lower the pulse rate and ease the dizziness.

It also may help to use an antihistamine, preferably a newer non-sedating antihistamine, such as loratidine or cetirizine. An older antihistamine or the use of a decongestant along with the antihistamine may worsen the elevated pulse rate.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.

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