VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION

Description

  • The heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses
  • This causes the ventricles to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood
  • It is life threatening

Symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness

Causes

  • Exact cause is unknown
  • Most common cause is heart attack
  • Electrocution accidents or injury to the heart
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Heart surgery
  • Narrowed coronary arteries
  • Medications

Risk Factors

  • A previous episode of ventricular fibrillation
  • A previous heart attack
  • A heart defect present from birth (congenital heart disease)
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Injuries that cause damage to the heart muscle, such as electrocution
  • Use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine

Diagnostic Tests

  • Heart monitoring
  • Pulse check
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Coronary catheterization (angiogram)
  • Cardiac computerized tomography (CT)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Treatment

  • Treated immediately
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Defibrillation
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)

Medications

  • Coronary angioplasty and stent placement
  • Coronary bypass surgery

Prevention

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay active
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain the blood pressure
  • Maintain cholestrol levels
  • Walk daily for atleast 30 minutes
  • Try to lead a relaxed life
  • Don’t over-stress