Ventricular Fibrillation

15 Feb

Ventricular fibrillation is often confused with atrial fibrillation. Although both are irregular heart rhythms, but they affect different parts of the heart. Ventricular fibrillation is a serious cardiac disturbance that causes abnormal heart rhythms. It can be life-threatening. AFib on the other hand indicates a serious heart condition, but is typically a symptom of a chronic problem, and not a life-threatening feature in itself.

Ventricular fibrillation is the leading cause of most cardiac arrests. A cardiac arrest victim would require immediate treatment for survival with the most appropriate treatment being proper application of the life-saving CPR procedures. The techniques comprise chest compressions and rescue breaths. Make sure to sign up in a certified training center for acquiring training such as the AHA certified. Both theoretical and practical training are imparted to the students. Become eligible for an AHA CPR provider card at the end of the training classes after successfully passing a skills test and written exam.

How do we Treat VFib patients:

Emergency treatments for VFib include CPR and use of a defibrillator.

CPR- CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation that aims to restore the blood flow through the body. Earlier, CPR involved cycles of 30 chest compressions and then breathes But, as per the 2008 guidelines issued by the American Heart Association, breathing into a person’s mouth may be unnecessary. Only delivering two compressions  While performing the compressions, allow the chest to rise in between. The responder should continue with the procedure until the arrival of emergency medical services or arrival of someone with a portable defibrillator.

Early CPR and the defibrillation process increase an individual’s survival chances.

Defibrillation Process- This process is performed using a defibrillator which sends electric shocks across the patient's chest. The device can be used together with CPR. The shocks aid in normalizing the heart rhythm thus restoring normal function.

The defibrillator device is very easy-to-use. Even a layperson can easily use it just by following the voice instructions. This device is present in most public places these days such as airports, major train and bus stations, shopping malls, community centers, places where elderly people gather, and they are programmed to detect ventricular fibrillation and emit a shock at the right moment.

VFib Symptoms:

Sudden collapse or fainting is the most common sign. Some people might experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, tachycardia, or accelerated heartbeat, and palpitations just an hour before VFib.

VFib and AFib- When it comes to both these irregular rhythms, VFib is more serious than AFib which frequently results in loss of consciousness and death as they tend to interrupt the pumping of heart. VFib can cause sudden cardiac death which accounts for about 300,000 deaths annually in the United States.

Risk Factors:

1.      Previous heart attack experience

2.      Previous VFib

3.      Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, or myocardium

4.      Congenital Heart Disease

5.      Electrocution or other injuries causing heart muscle damage

Link between VFib and Ventricular Tachycardia:

VFib usually begins with ventricular tachycardia which is an abnormally rapid heart rhythm that originates from a ventricle. It mainly occurs in people with some form of heart defect. Ventricular tachycardia can happen and then go away about 30 seconds later, without causing any symptoms. On the contrary, it can also continue for more than 30 seconds which eventually leads to VFib if left untreated.


1) This is the most common rhythm that is seen first in cardiac arrest patients

2) Mycardial  cell quiver rather than deplorize 

3) Causes:  MI, drug toxicity or overdose, gypoxia, CAD

4( If ACLS trained, provide medication along with CPR for treatment)

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