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Q. I had sudden cardiac arrest with hypokalemia. Please interpret my ECG.

Answered by
Dr. Isaac Gana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on May 15, 2020

Hi doctor,

Is this ECG normal? I had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) 6 moths ago. This ECG (electrocardiography) was taken a few months before that. I have had fatigue, hair loss, stomach cramps, and dizziness for a while.

I have had some trouble with hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia. After being resuscitated my serum potassium was 2.7mmol/l. They tried to fix that by giving me potassium solutions. The solutions did not really work though because of low magnesium.

I am currently on Bisoprolol accord 2.5 mg, Xarelto 20 mg.

Dr. Isaac Gana



Welcome to

I am sorry to hear about your health condition. This is extremely strange that at 25 years of age you suffered a cardiac arrest. Have you had problems with hypokalaemia before the attack? Where you on diuretics? Do you have history of similar problem in your family? Have you always suffered low blood pressure? Or was it after the attack?

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Thank you doctor,

Yes, I have always had low blood pressure. There are no sudden deaths in my family nor heart disease (that I know of). I had an eating disorder for 10 years. I also like licorice so I sometimes eat that. My potassium levels drop quite easily, just recently they went from 4.2 - 3.5 mmol/l.

Dr. Isaac Gana



Welcome back to

The ECG you attached (attachment removed to protect patient identity), shows T wave inversion which is a result of the hypokalemia. It is actually difficult to correct the potassium levels in the presence of low magnesium.

Your low potassium levels might also be connected with your eating disorder. In order to help fix your hypokalemia, there is a need to correct your magnesium levels first. I advise you to talk to your attending physician about using salt of magnesium orally, after which you will commence oral potassium levels.

In addition, I advise you to consume foods like banana on a regular basis. It will help to replenish your potassium levels. Make sure to due ECG intermittently during the cause of correction. Please discuss this with your personal physician.

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