Ventricular Fibrillation - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Ventricular fibrillation or ventricular fibrillation is a type of heart rhythm disorder. The heart chambers, which should be beating, only vibrate when ventricular fibrillation occurs. This is caused by a disturbance in the flow 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 body's organs will stop. This condition is an emergency that must be treated immediately, because it can cause death in just a few minutes.

Ventricular fibrillation is most common 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 a major cause of death from sudden cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of Ventricular Fibrillation

The main symptom of ventricular fibrillation is loss of consciousness. In addition, the patient will also be seen gasping for air or stop breathing. However, before the loss of consciousness and gasping for breath, ventricular fibrillation can cause symptoms such as:

  • Nauseous
  • Dizzy
  • Chest pain
  • Heart beat

If these symptoms appear, immediately ask for help from the people around and contact the nearest health worker for treatment.

Causes of Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation can occur if there is a disturbance in the heart's electrical flow. This power outage can be caused by:

  • Heart attack.
  • Diseases of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
  • Congenital heart disease.
  • Drug abuse such as cocaine or methamphetamine.
  • Disorders of the body's electrolyte balance, such as magnesium and potassium.
  • Electric shock.

This ventricular fibrillation will be more prone to occur in people aged between 45-75 years, and have experienced ventricular fibrillation before.

Diagnosis of ventricular fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is an emergency condition that must be detected quickly through checking the pulse and checking the heart record. The pulse of patients with ventricular fibrillation will not be palpable, and the results of the examination of the heart record will show abnormal electrical waves.

Additional examinations will be carried out after the condition of ventricular fibrillation is resolved, with the aim of determining the cause of VF. These inspections include:

  • blood test, to check for excessive amounts of cardiac enzymes in the blood due to a heart attack.
  • Chest X-ray, to get an idea of ​​the size of the heart and the condition of the lungs.
  • Echocardiographyfi, to get a picture of the heart through sound waves.
  • heart catheterization, to find out if there is a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart (coronary), by injecting a special dye through a catheter tube that is inserted from the blood vessels in the legs to the heart. Images of blood vessels will be captured through X-rays.
  • CT scan or MRI, to check if there are other disorders of the heart through a clearer picture of the heart.

Ventricle Fibrillation Treatment

In an emergency, treatment for ventricular fibrillation (VF) focuses on keeping blood flowing throughout the body. There are 2 types of treatment carried out simultaneously, namely:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. CPR procedure is done to pump the heart from the outside, namely by applying pressure from the outside of the chest wall (compression).
  • Cardiac shock device (defibrillation). In developed countries, especially in public areas, automatic cardiac shock devices (AEDs) are available. When a person's heart stops, this device can be directly attached to the chest wall to analyze the heart's electricity, and will automatically deliver an electric shock when necessary, to restore the normal rhythm of the heart.

Both of these actions really need to be studied, because they can save the lives of sufferers while waiting for medical help to arrive.

At the hospital, the patient will be given emergency assistance until his condition is stable. After that, the doctor will provide treatment for ventricular fibrillation, which includes:

  • Administration of heart rhythm control drugs. Can be a type of drug beta blocker, for example bisoprolol.
  • Put on 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 purpose of the ring is to open the blocked heart blood vessels and keep them open.
  • Operation bypass heart. This operation is also performed when VF is caused by coronary heart disease. On operation bypass heart, new blood vessels will be made as an alternative route for blocked blood vessels.
  • Cardiac shock device (ICD) implant placement. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) will detect heart rhythm disturbances, and give an electric shock automatically to restore the normal rhythm of the heart. This procedure is more effective in preventing fatal conditions due to heart rhythm disturbances, than the administration of drugs.

Complications of ventricular fibrillation

There are several complications that can occur in patients with ventricular fibrillation, either because of the disease itself or as a result of rescue measures, namely:

  • Brain damage
  • Burning skin due to cardiac shock procedure
  • Rib injury due to CPR tindakan

Prevention of ventricular fibrillation

A healthy lifestyle can maintain a healthy heart and prevent heart attacks that can lead to ventricular fibrillation, and even death. Start making some changes to your lifestyle with these steps:

  • Implement a balanced diet.
  • Maintain ideal body weight, according to body mass index (BMI).
  • Quit smoking.
  • Exercise regularly, for 30 minutes every day.