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Ventricular fibrillation (VF)

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

About

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) 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, cardiomyopathy, WPW syndrome or inherited electrical abnormalities.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of ventricular fibrillation icon plus

    The symptom of VF is loss of consciousness.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    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
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    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 MR 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.

Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion. 
 

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

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