A cardiac arrhythmia happens when your heart is beating (or contracting) in an irregular pattern. At one time or another, you’ve probably learned to place your fingers gently against your carotid artery in your neck to feel your pulse or heart beating. Usually, you can feel a steady pattern of beats as you count. But if you have an arrhythmia, the pulse or rhythm of your heart may be unpredictable or too fast or too slow.

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