Diseases And Conditions: What Is Ventricular Tachycardia Fibrillation?

The person who has ventricular fibrillation become unconscious and if not treated immediately will go in to convulsions. Learn why!

An uncoordinated series of very rapid but ineffective contractions throughout the ventricles that is caused by a number of chaotic electrical impulses is known a ventricular fibrillation. In most case the person who is being affected will become unconscious in seconds and if not treated immediately will go in to convulsions. This causes irreversible brain damage in as short a period as 5 minutes due to lack of oxygen reaching the brain.

Similar to atrial fibrillation due to the electrical reactions in the body, ventricular fibrillation has a much graver prognosis. With this condition the ventricles will merely quiver, refusing to carry out any kind of coordinated contractions. Since there is no blood being pumped from the heart, this condition is considered a form of cardiac arrest. In most cases it is due to an inadequate supply of blood flowing to the heart muscle caused by coronary artery disease or a heart attack, but it can also be caused by shock or extremely low levels of potassium in the blood. When a patient has suddenly collapsed a doctor will consider ventricular fibrillation. If examination shows no heart beat or pulse and the blood pressure cannot be measured a doctor will confirm this diagnosis by using an electrocardiogram or ECG.

In all cases, ventricular fibrillation is treated as an emergency. Immediate action would include cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, followed by cardiversion which is an electric shock delivered to the chest. Once the heart is beating drugs are administered to maintain a normal heart rhythm. In cases where ventricular fibrillation has occurred within a short period after a heart attack they will first be check to see if they are in shock or have heart failure. Then cardioversion is applied. In these cases cardioversion has a 95 percent rate of success and the prognosis is good. When shock or heart failure are present this tells the doctor that the patient has major damage to the ventricles. In this case even if the patient is present at the time ventricular fibrillation occurs, there is only a 30 percent success rate when using cardiversion. In most cases such as this there is a 70 percent chance that the resuscitated survivor will die.



Ventricular fibrillation causes rapid, ineffective and uncoordinated contractions of the heart. It is caused by abnormal heart beats which are initiated by electrical activity in the lower hear chambers or ventricles. This condition is a common complication of heart attacks and can also be caused by electrocution or drowning. With ventricular fibrillation the heart will cease to pump blood effectively and unless a normal heart rhythm is quickly restored this condition is often fatal. This condition produces a pattern on an ECG that shows the ventricles twitching in a rapid and totally irregular manner. If you are in the presence of a person who you suspect might have this condition and are trained in CPR, using this method may keep the victim alive until emergency help can arrive.

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