Notes On The Rhythm Control

1066 Words May 4th, 2015 5 Pages
2.5.3. Rhythm Control Cardioversion

Usually performed electively, cardioversions are procedures that are performed to convert an arrhythmia back to sinus rhythm.. There are two types of cardioversions; pharmacological and electrical.

Pharmacological cardioversions are performed via administering arrhythmia-medication to patients to restore the heart’s rhythm to normal sinus rhythm. Pharmacological cardioversions were the standard cardioversion procedures performed before electrical cardioversion became more commonly used. Advantages of pharmacological cardioversions are such that the procedure does not require sedation, (whereas electrical cardioversion does), and the development of new drugs has made it more of a popular option. However, there is a risk of drug-induced arrhythmias occurring during the procedure (Fuster V et al; 2001).

Electrical cardioversions, also known as direct current (DC) cardioversion, consists of administering a therapeutic dosage (usually 200 Joules) of electrical current to the heart in co-ordination with its intrinsic electrical activity, to ensure electrical cardiac stimulation does not occur during the vulnerable phase of the cardiac cycle. Shocking patients at the wrong point in the cardiac cycle can cause an R-on-T phenomenon, resulting in the patient descending into ventricular fibrillation (VF) – a potentially a fatal arrhythmia. Electrical shocks are delivered through the chest wall to the heart, via paddles or electrodes…
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