Ventricular Fibrillation is a type of heart rhythm disorder. The chambers of the heart that are supposed to throb, only vibrate when ventricular fibrillation occurs. This is caused by a disruption of electricity to the heart. As a result, the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body, so the blood supply that carries oxygen and nutrients to the organs of the body will stop. This condition is an emergency condition that must be treated immediately, because it can cause death in just a few minutes.
Ventricular fibrillation is most commonly found in adults aged 45-75 years and is a heart rhythm disorder that is often encountered during a heart attack. In addition, ventricular fibrillation is also the main cause of death from sudden cardiac arrest.
Ventricular Fibrillation Symptoms
The main symptom of ventricular fibrillation is a decrease in consciousness . In addition, sufferers will also be seen gasping for breath or stopping breathing. But before there is a decrease in consciousness and gasping, ventricular fibrillation can cause symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Heart beat
Causes of Ventricular Fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation can occur if there is a disruption in the heart's electrical flow. This disruption of electricity can be caused by:
- Heart attack.
- Heart muscle disease ( cardiomyopathy ).
- Congenital heart disease.
- Drug abuse is a type of cocaine or methamphetamine.
- Disorders of the body's electrolyte balance, such as magnesium and potassium.
- Electric shock.
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Diagnosis of Ventricular Fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is an emergency condition that must be detected quickly through a pulse and examination of the heart record . The pulse of patients with ventricular fibrillation will not be palpable, and the results of examination of the heart record will show abnormal electrical waves.
Additional examination will be carried out after the condition of the ventricular fibrillation is resolved, with the aim of knowing the cause of the occurrence of VF. These checks include:
- Blood test, to check the amount of excess heart enzymes in the blood due to a heart attack.
- Chest radiograph , to get an idea of the size of the heart and the condition of the lungs.
- Echocardiography , to get a picture of the heart through sound waves.
- Cardiac catheterization, to find out if there is a blockage in the heart arteries (coronary), by injecting a special dye through a catheter hose inserted from a blood vessel in the leg towards the heart. Images of blood vessels will be captured through X-ray photos.
- CT scan or MRI, to check if there are other disorders of the heart through a clearer picture of the heart.
Treatment of Ventricular Fibrillation
In an emergency, handling ventricular fibrillation (VF) focuses on keeping blood flowing throughout the body. There are 2 types of treatments that are carried out simultaneously, namely:
- Pulmonary heart resuscitation or CPR . The CPR procedure is performed to pump the heart from the outside, namely by applying pressure from the outer wall of the chest (compression).
- Heart shock device (defribrillation). In developed countries, especially in public areas, an automatic heart shock device (AED) is available. When a person's heart stops, this device can be directly mounted on the chest wall to analyze the heart's electricity, and will automatically provide electric shock if necessary, to restore the heart's normal rhythm.
In the hospital, the patient will be given emergency help until his condition is stable. After that, the doctor will provide treatment for ventricular fibrillation, which includes:
- Giving medicines to regulate heart rhythms. Can be a beta blocking type drug, for example bisoprolol.
- Attach the heart ring. This procedure is performed in cases of VF caused by a heart attack , as well as to reduce the risk of further attacks. The ring aims to open the blocked blood vessels of the heart and keep them open.
- Heart bypass surgery . This operation is also performed if VF is caused by coronary heart disease. In heart bypass surgery , new blood vessels will be created as an alternative pathway for blocked blood vessels.
- Implantation of a heart shock device (ICD). Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) will detect heart rhythm disorders, and provide electric shock automatically to restore the heart's normal rhythm. This procedure is more effective in preventing fatal conditions due to heart rhythm disorders, compared to administering drugs.
Ventricular Fibrillation Complications
There are several complications that can occur in people with ventricular fibrillation, both because of their own illness or as a result of salvage measures, namely:
- Brain damage
- Skin burns due to a heart shock procedure
- Rib injury due to CPR action
Prevention of Ventricular Fibrillation
A healthy lifestyle can maintain heart health and prevent heart attacks that can lead to ventricular fibrillation, even death. Start making a few changes to your lifestyle with the following steps:
- Applying a diet with balanced nutrition.
- Maintain ideal body weight, according to body mass index (BMI) .
- Stop smoking .
- Regular exercise, for 30 minutes every day.