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Ventricular fibrillation

Definition


Disease: Ventricular fibrillation Ventricular fibrillation
Category: Cardiovascular diseases

Disease Definition:

When someone’s heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses, ventricular fibrillation occurs.
Instead of pumping blood, the pumping chambers of the heart will quiver uselessly because of this. Cutting off blood supply to the vital organs, the blood pressure decreases during ventricular fibrillation.
Immediate medical attention is required in this case because ventricular fibrillation is an emergency case. A would faint within seconds and soon won’t breathe or have a pulse in case he/she experiences ventricular fibrillation. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shocks to the heart with a device called a defibrillator are included in the emergency treatment for ventricular fibrillation.
Drugs and implantable devices that can restore a normal heart rhythm are included in the treatments of people at risk of ventricular fibrillation.
 

Work Group:


Symptoms, Causes

Symptoms:

The most common sign of ventricular fibrillation is loss of consciousness or collapsing.

 

EARLY SYMPTOMS OF VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION: 

Other signs and symptoms possibly begin about an hour before the heart goes into ventricular fibrillation and the person collapses. Such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid Heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain

 

In case these signs and symptoms of ventricular fibrillation are found, the person should seek emergency medical help immediately. He/she should follow these steps: 

  • Calling the emergency number in the area
  • If someone nearby knows cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), he/she should start providing it. CPR could help maintain blood flow to the organs until an electrical shock (defibrillation) could be given. In case the person doesn’t know CPR, he/she should just push hard and fast on the person’s chest, about 100 to 120 per minute or 2 compressions per second.

 

In an increasing number of places, portable automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that deliver an electric shock that might restart heartbeats could be found such as in airplanes, police cars and shopping malls. A person could also purchase it for their home. Portable defibrillators come with built-in instructions for their use. They’re programmed to permit a shock only when needed.
 

Causes:

To understand how ventricular fibrillation occurs, people should know what occurs during a normal heartbeat.
The electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract should follow a precise pathway through the heart when the heart beats. An irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) may result from any interruption in these impulses. There are four hollow chambers in the heart. The chambers on each half of the heart form two adjoining pumps, with an upper chamber (atrium) and a lower chamber (ventricle). The smaller, less muscular atria contract and fill the relaxed ventricles with blood during a heartbeat. When the sinus node, a small group of cells in the right atrium, sends an electrical impulse resulting in the contraction of the right and left atria, this contraction begins. The impulse later on goes to the center of the heart, to the atrioventricular node that lies on the pathway between the atria and the ventricles. From there, the impulse exits the atrioventricular node and goes through the ventricles, resulting in their contraction and pumping blood throughout the body. 

 

CAUSES OF VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION:

The causes of ventricular fibrillation are unknown, but most cases of ventricular fibrillation start as a rapid heartbeat called ventricular tachycardia (VT). Abnormal electrical impulses that begin in the ventricles are the cause of these fast and regular heartbeats. These are usually caused by a problem with the electrical impulse going around a scar from a previous heart attack. Most VT takes place in people suffering from some form of heart-related problem. VT could occasionally last for 30 seconds or less (nonsustained), and not cause any symptoms, though it causes inefficient heartbeats. But, VT might be a sign of more serious heart problems. If VT lingers for more than 30 seconds, it will often lead to palpitations, dizziness or fainting. Usually ventricular fibrillation is the result in case VT isn’t treated. Most cases of ventricular fibrillation are related to some form of heart diseases. A heart attack is usually the cause of ventricular fibrillation. Instead of pumping blood, rapid, chaotic electrical impulses in ventricular fibrillation cause the ventricles to palpitate uselessly. The blood pressure plummets, instantly cutting off blood supply to the organs, including the brain, without an effective heartbeat. Most people lose consciousness within seconds and need immediate medical assistance, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If CPR is delivered until the heart could be shocked back into a normal rhythm with a device named defibrillator, the person’s chance of survival would be better. Death will result in minutes without defibrillation or CPR. The risk of ventricular fibrillation is increased by several factors, such as:

  • A previous heart attack
  • A congenital heart defect
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • A previous episode of ventricular fibrillation
  • Use of illicit medications, like cocaine or methamphetamine
  • Injuries that damage the heart muscle, like electrocution
     

Complications

Complications:

Death

Treatments:

In order to prevent damage to the brain and other organs, emergency treatments for ventricular fibrillation focus on restoring blood flow through the body as quickly as possible. After blood flow is restored through the heart, the person will have treatment alternatives, if needed, to help prevent future episodes of ventricular fibrillation.

 

EMERGENCY TREATMENTS: 

 

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR):

By mimicking the pumping motion of the heart, CPR could help restore blood flow through the body. CPR could be performed by anyone trained in basic life support, including family members of those at risk. CPR could be started before emergency medical personnel arrive in a medical emergency case. The steps that should be followed include calling for emergency medical care, checking the unconscious person’s breathing, and then starting CPR. In CPR, the person should just push hard and fast on the patient’s chest, about two compressions per second or 100 to 120 per minute. Between compressions, the chest should rise completely. The person Shouldn’t worry about breathing into the patient’s mouth. Until a portable defibrillator is available or emergency personnel arrive, the person should keep doing this.

 

Defibrillation:

The heart and the chaotic rhythm are stopped momentarily by the delivery of an electrical shock through the chest wall to the heart, usually allowing the resume of normal heart rhythm. In case a public-use defibrillator, the device used to administer the shock, is available, it might be administered by emergency personnel or a bystander. Public-use defibrillators are programmed to recognize ventricular fibrillation and send a shock only when it’s appropriate.

 

TREATMENTS TO PREVENT FUTURE EPISODES:

In case the patient’s ventricular fibrillation episode is the result of a change in the structure of the heart, like scarred tissue from a heart attack, the patient may be recommended taking medications or having a medical procedure performed to decrease the risk of future ventricular fibrillation. Some of the treatment options are: 

 

Medications:

There are several different anti-arrhythmic medications that could be used for emergency or long-term treatment of ventricular fibrillation. A class of drugs named beta blockers is commonly used in people at risk of ventricular fibrillation or sudden cardiac arrest. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and a medication named amiodarone are other medications that could be used.

 

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD):

The doctor is likely to suggest implantation of an ICD after the patient’s condition stabilizes. An ICD is a battery-powered unit that’s implanted near the left collarbone. One or more electrode-tipped wires travel from the ICD through veins to the heart. The ICD incessantly monitors the heart rhythm. It sends an electrical signal that paces the heart as a pacemaker would when it detects a rhythm that is too slow. On the other hand, it sends out low or high energy shocks to reset the heart to a normal rhythm when it detects ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. At decreasing the chance of having a fatal arrhythmia, an ICD might be more effective than medication treatment.

 

Coronary angioplasty and stent placement:

Severe coronary artery disease is treated with this procedure. It opens blocked coronary arteries, letting blood run through more freely to the heart. This process might decrease the risk of future episodes of ventricular fibrillation in case the patient’s ventricular fibrillation is the result of a heart attack. A long, thin tube (Catheter) that’s passed through an artery is inserted by a doctor, often in the leg, to a blocked artery in the heart. To open up a blocked coronary artery, this catheter is equipped with a special balloon tip that briefly inflates. A metal mesh stent may be inserted at the same time into the artery to keep it open long term, restoring blood flow to the heart. Coronary angioplasty might be done at the same time as a coronary catheterization (angiogram), a procedure that doctors do initially to locate narrowed arteries to the heart.

 

Coronary bypass surgery:

Coronary bypass surgery is another process to improve blood flow. In this procedure, veins or arteries are sewed in place at a site beyond a blocked or narrowed coronary artery (bypassing the narrowed department), restoring blood flow to the heart. This might decrease the risk of ventricular fibrillation and improve the blood supply to the heart.

 

Ventricular tachycardia ablation:

In certain circumstances, to try to rule out the impulses in the heart causing ventricular tachycardia, the doctors might suggest a catheter-based process named ablation. to correct structural problems in the heart causing an arrhythmia, catheters, long flexible tubes inserted through a vein in the groin and threaded to the heart, are usually used in ablation. Cardiac ablation works by scarring or destroying tissue blocking the electrical signal that runs through the heart to make it beat. The heart might beat normally again in case the signal pathway of the abnormal tissue is cleared.
 

Prognosis:

Not available

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