Heart Education

Ventricular Fibrillation




“V Fib” is the most common arrhythmia encountered in a patient with sudden cardiac death. It is usually fatal within a few minutes if not treated at once. Ventricular fibrillation is a rapid, grossly irregular ventricular rhythm with marked variability in QRS cycle length, morphology and amplitude.
The most common causes are found below.
Ischemic heart disease can lead to cardiac arrest attributable to ventricular arrhythmias may be due to chronic scar or to acute MI/ischemia. “A chronic infarct scar can serve as the focus for reentrant ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have an increased recurrence of cardiac arrest and express an increased incidence of silent ST-segment depression.” (16)
Non-ischemic cardiomyopathies, valvular diseases, and congenital heart disease and diseases of the fibrous tissue such as Marfans and SLE have also shown to increase the incidence of ventricular fibrillation. Furthermore, long QT syndrome, as well as WPW, have been positively associated with an increased rate of V Fib. Electrolyte abnormalities and poisoning/overdose may also precipitate ventricular fibrillation.
There are some life-threatening health problems that may culminate in ventricular fibrillation. These include pulmonary emboli, aortic dissection, and aneurysm ruptures. These problems are life-threatening in themselves and the prognosis is very poor if these occur.

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