Heart palpitations are usually not serious, according to MedlinePlus. If palpitations are caused by arrhythmia, they could be more serious and potentially fatal. Patients at risk for heart disease or who can feel extra heartbeats should contact their doctors immediately.
Most heart palpitations are attributed to stress, panic attacks, anxiety, caffeine or other stimulant use, excessive exercise or fever, states MedlinePlus. Less commonly, heart palpitations can be caused by heart disease, abnormal potassium levels, low oxygen levels or certain medications. Patients should seek emergency medical attention if they experience loss of consciousness, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating or chest pain.