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Hi there,

I was wondering if someone can tell me the difference between complete and a partial heart block? I was talking to someone the other day over the internet and this person told me that she has adams stokes condition. In this condition, she has a complete heart block from time to time and she told me that she would have liked if this heart block was only partial because it would be a lot less, but that doesn't really happen when you have adams stokes.

I am really interested now to know the differences between complete and partial heart block.

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Hi Adria,

Heart block is an abnormal heart rhythm where the heart beats too slowly (bradycardia). In this condition, the electrical signals that tell the heart to contract are partially or totally blocked between the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers (ventricles). For this reason, it is also called atrioventricular block (AV block).

There are 4 different types of heart block, these are first degree heart block, second degree heart block, third degree heart block and bundle branch block. Out of these 4 types, only third degree heart block is considered a complete heart block and therefore it is the most dangerous one.
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Like Guest wrote above me, third degree heart block is the one that is called complete heart block because none of the electrical signals reach the ventricles. When complete heart block occurs, special areas in the ventricles may create electrical signals to cause the ventricles to contract. This natural backup system is slower than the normal heart rate and isn't coordinated with the contraction of the atria. 

Complete heart block can result in sudden cardiac arrest and death. This type of heart block often requires emergency treatment. A temporary pacemaker might be used to keep the heart beating until you get a long-term pacemaker.

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The thing is, partial heart block isn't anywhere near dangerous as complete heart block is. Here the heart's electrical signals are slowed as they move from the atria to the ventricles. This type of a heart block may not cause any symptoms or require treatment. (I am talking about a first degree heart block here)

When it comes to second degree heart block, electrical signals between the atria and ventricles are slowed to a large degree. Some signals don't reach the ventricles. If an electrical signal is blocked before it reaches the ventricles, they won't contract and pump blood to the lungs and the rest of the body.
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Hello folks.

I don’t know what is exactly the difference of complete and partial heart block, but I do know that every heart block is different. For example, some people are born with heart block (that are congenital), while others develop it during their lifetimes (that are acquired). Acquired heart block is more common than congenital heart block. The three types of heart block are first degree, second degree, and third degree. First degree is the least severe, and third degree is the most severe. This is true for both congenital and acquired heart block. That is all I know because my sister told me this. 

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Good day everyone.

Yes, there is a difference. And I think that it is very simple to understand both of those heart attacks.  A partial heart block usually happens when the electrical impulses are delayed or stopped, and this is a situation that is preventing the heart from beating regularly. A complete heart block is happening when the electrical signals stop completely. In this case, the heart beat will drop to about 40 times per minute. Even changes to impulses that last only a fraction of a second can cause heart block. That is the main difference and both of the cases need to be treated. 

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My friend had this complete heart block and when we are talking about it, we are talking about third degree of heart block. Third - degree atrioventricular block, also referred to as third-degree heart block or complete heart block, is a disorder of the cardiac conduction system where there is no conduction through the atrioventricular node. This can be very dangerous because complete dissociation of the atrial and ventricular activity exists and patients with it are in big danger. On the other side, partial is not that dangerous but it should be treated. There are four different types of heart block as well. 

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