Nurses can expect which of the following interventions to help regulate or treat patients with atrial flutter?

Administration of ibutilide intravenously as ordered
Administration of a non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker or a beta blocker as ordered
Administration of heparin as ordered
Preparation of the client for radiofrequency catheter ablation


• Atrial flutter is an abnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, regular atrial depolarizations at a characteristic rate of approximately 300 beats per minute and a regular ventricular rate of about 150 beats per minute in patients not taking atrioventricular (AV) nodal blockers.

• It can lead to symptoms of palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, or lightheadedness, as well as an increased risk of atrial thrombus formation that may travel elsewhere, causing cerebral or systemic emboli.

• Administration of a non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker or a beta blocker will help reduce heart rate.

• Anticoagulation is imperative to prevent systemic embolization, initially with heparin in clients with atrial flutter.

• Intravenous ibutilide, a short-acting antidysrhythmic medication, has a 60% to 90% success rate for converting atrial flutter.

• Cardioversion promptly restores sinus rhythm in atrial flutter, usually at energy levels as low as 25 to 100 joules.

• Due to the high rate of recurrence of atrial flutter in patients without a correctable cause, and because of its high success rate, radiofrequency catheter ablation is the definitive treatment.

• Incorrect: Sternal massage is not a treatment for atrial flutter.

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