[toc]During a heartbeat, electrical impulses that initiate the contractions follow a defined path to the heart but under disruption of any such impulses, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) may take place. When these irregularities are originated in the ventricles (lower chambers of heart), it is referred as ventricular fibrillation.
The ventricles contract without serving any purpose and no blood is pumped into the body. The blood flow is stopped to various parts and organs of the body including brain, resulting in instant loss of consciousness that require immediate emergency treatment like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In case, CPR is performed till the heart is revived back to its normal rhythm with help of a defibrillator, the chances of survival are much profound.
Various Causes Of Ventricular Fibrillation
Impaired Electrical Impulses Post The Heart Attack
The most common factor giving rise to ventricular fibrillation is the impaired electrical impulses that originate post a recent heart attack and travel through the heart. It could also be the result of scar formation within the muscle tissues of heart from the past heart attack that disrupts the usual heart beat pattern.
Blood Supply Cut Off From Brain
Rapid and awry electrical impulses result in endless contractions of ventricles that do not pump out blood through the heart and blood supply is being cut off to various vital organs, resulting in inactivity of brain that can lead to loss of consciousness within a few seconds. The patient must seek immediate medical attention including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Certain cases of ventricular fibrillation initiate as rapid heartbeat known as ventricular tachycardia that originates from one of the ventricle. It is usually observed in people with certain kind of heart defect with abnormal electrical impulses mediating in the ventricles. Usually it may last for 30 seconds and is referred as non sustained ventricular tachycardia.
But, in case it extends for long, more than 30 seconds, it results in ventricular fibrillation with symptoms of dizziness, palpitations and loss of consciousness. Ventricular tachycardia is observed in patients with scar in heart muscles or damage of the ventricle muscles from a heart attack. It majorly results from severe heart disease and normally requires emergency treatment.
Diagnostic Testing For Ventricular Fibrillation
Pulse And Heart Impulse Monitoring
Analyze the pulse and under ventricular fibrillation, pulse is extremely difficult to detect. Pulse will be weak or absent completely, indicating high probability of ventricular fibrillation.
Use a heart monitor device to read the electrical impulses of the heart that beat rhythmically under normal cases. On monitoring of heart beat, an erratic heart beat pattern or absence of heart beat will be detected, demonstrating the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation.
Cardiac Enzyme Test
Post a heart attack, certain enzymes of the heart, called as cardiac enzymes may enter into the bloodstream. With blood test, presence of cardiac enzymes in the blood can be analyzed. This test needs to be checked regularly after every few days post a heart attack.
Ecg And Chest X Rays
To analyse for any swelling of heart or abnormality of blood vessels of the heart, chest x ray can be performed followed by electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG aids in analysis of any abnormalities in heart rhythmic pattern that indicate damage of the heart muscles.