Definition of Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular FibrillationVentricular fibrillation – Rapid, irregular, ineffective contractions of the heart’s ventricles – quickly becomes fatal without treatment.

The heart cannot pump blood to the lungs or to the body when it is in ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening event that requires emergency medical treatment.

Treatment

The electrocardiogram (ecg) provides a definitive diagnosis. Treatment may consist of defibrillation (an electrical shock to the heart) or of medications to restore normal rhythm.

Ventricular fibrillation typically follows a cardiac crisis such as heart attack, and despite its lethal potential presents an opportunity for successful resuscitation because the heart still has electrical activity.

Ventricular fibrillation may also exist as the deterioration of an arrhythmia disorder such as ventricular tachycardia (rapid, regular contractions of the ventricles) or wolff-parkinson-white syndrome.

See also ATRIAL FIBRILLATION; CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR); PREMATURE VENTRICULAR CONTRACTION (PVC).

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