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Ventricular Fibrillation Treatments

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Ventricular Fibrillation Guide

Christine Jeffries

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Treatment

Ventricular fibrillation must be treated as an extreme emergency and treatment must be administered within 4-6 minutes.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions. CPR is a temporary procedure that can help maintain some blood flow to the brain, heart, and other vital organs until trained medical personnel are available to provide more advanced treatment.

Defibrillation

In defibrillation, an electronic device is used to give an electric shock to the heart. The electric shock helps to re-establish the normal contraction rhythms of the heart. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable defibrillation device. Most ambulances carry AEDs. They are also frequently found in many public places, such as sports complexes.

Defibrillation should be done as soon as equipment is available.

Anti-arrhythmic Drugs

Anti-arrhythmic drugs, such as amiodarone , lidocaine , and procainamide , may be given intravenously with continued resuscitation attempts when a person continues to fibrillate.

If the heart’s rhythm is stabilized by defibrillation, anti-arrhythmic drugs can be given to maintain the heart’s rhythm.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can be surgically placed in the chest to help prevent ventricular fibrillation. An ICD continuously monitors the heart’s rhythm. If it detects an abnormal beat, it automatically sends electrical impulses to restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator

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If you are diagnosed with ventricular fibrillation, follow your doctor's instructions.

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