Ventricular fibrillation (VF)


This condition can be life-threatening and requires immediate attention to restore your heart to its normal rhythm

About VF

Ventricular fibrillation causes cardiac arrest and is a fatal event unless normal rhythm is quickly restored by a DC shock. It occurs in patients with heart disease such as heart attacks, cardiomyopathyWPW syndrome or inherited electrical abnormalities.

Need to know

The symptom of VF is loss of consciousness.

Your consultant will first discuss with you your overall health and medical history. After this they may perform some tests, including:

  • asking you for a description of symptoms
  • performing a physical examination of your body
  • checking vital signs, such as your blood pressure and resting pulse rate
  • electrocardiogram to check your heart's rhythm and electrical activity

The first response during an episode is cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the form of CPR. This will keep your blood flowing and return your heart to normal rhythm with a DC shock by a defibrillator.

After resuscitation, a full medical history, physical examination and full investigations of your heart will be made. This will include some or all of an ECG, echocardiogram, Holter monitor, cardiac MRI scan, coronary angiography and an EPS.

Your consultant may give you medication immediately following an episode to help you control and prevent a recurrence. They may prescribe additional medications to control arrhythmia and reduce your risk. Some drugs for other conditions increase the risk of VF so they may be stopped.

If, despite treatment, you are considered to be at increased risk of further episodes, you will receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

Our Ventricular fibrillation (VF) locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Cardiac Clinic

The Cardiac Clinic

London Bridge Hospital SE1 2PR London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.