Electrical Cardioversion

If someone is having an irregular and abnormal heartbeat, cardioversion is a way of process to bring it back to a normal regular rhythm. In this case, the heart of the patient beats very fast, and that is too irregular. An irregular heartbeat can lead to problems like heart attack, fainting, stroke, or even cardiac arrest.

Electrical Cardioversion is a type of cardioversion where the heart receives moderate energy shock to bring back the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. For this process, a machine and electrodes are used to provide quick shocks to the heart.

Electrode patches on the back and chest or handheld paddles deliver the shock to the chest. If the patient is having serious heart issues, an ICD that is an Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator is implanted in the patient body. The machine wires provide a shock to the irregular heart whenever needed.

What preparations should be taken prior to Electrical Cardioversion?

First of all, talk to the doctor about how you should be prepared. If you have any medical history, share it with the doctor if any precautions should be taken.

On the day of your procedure, you might need to refrain from eating or drinking anything before midnight. You may also need to take some medicines before the process starts. Some blood tests will be performed as well to find if the cardioversion is safe for you.

Your healthcare professional can recommend that you use the anti-clotting medication if you have a higher risk of blood clots. Prior to and following the treatment, these are frequently taken for many weeks. Although not everyone requires this medication, some do. If your irregular rhythm has persisted for more than 48 hours or if you’ve already experienced a blood clot, you probably require anti-clotting medication.

What is the process of Electrical Cardioversion?

The process differs from a regular one to an emergency one. The regular process of cardioversion can be as follows.

  • The doctor places soft electrode pads on the chest, in some cases on the back. You may need to shave some areas for the pads to stick.
  • A cardioversion machine is connected to the pads.
    You need to fall asleep during the process. So the doctor will give you medicine through the veins.
  • A high-energy quick shock is sent to the heart using the cardioversion machine to brick back the normal rhythm of the heart.
  • The heart rhythm is monitored very closely; if there are any difficulties.
  • The whole process only takes some minutes. You will wake up when the process is done.

What to expect after Electrical Cardioversion?

This may actually vary from person to person. The general scenario after the process is done is as follows.

  • The patient will get up after 5 to 10 minutes when the procedure is done.
  • The patient will be under close observation for several hours for any difficulties to be found.
  • You may feel very sleepy for some time after the cardioversion.
  • You can go home the same day.
  • Sometimes you may feel some pain or soreness in your chest which lasts a few days.
  • You will be suggested the medicines you need to take. Continue the exact medicines you are suggested as long you are said to.