Recurrent Ventricular fibrillation

What is Recurrent Ventricular Fibrillation?

Recurrent ventricular fibrillation, or RVF, is a rhythm disruptive disorder of the heart’s lower chambers, or ventricles. It is a serious medical condition and can lead to sudden cardiac death (SCD). This condition can cause the heart to flutter out of a normal rhythm, then stop altogether. It usually is a result of an underlying heart problem like coronary artery disease or a weakened heart muscle.

RVF needs immediate medical attention. Usually, emergency medical personnel are able to restore a normal heart rhythm with an automated external defibrillator, or AED. However, if left untreated, RVF can lead to serious long-term health problems or even death.

Symptoms of Recurrent Ventricular Fibrillation

The most common symptom of RVF is a fluttering or quivering feeling in the chest, known as palpitations. Additional symptoms may include a rapid or irregular heartbeat, fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain or an overall feeling of weakness or fatigue.

Causes of Recurrent Ventricular Fibrillation

RVF is often caused by an underlying heart disease, such as coronary artery disease or a weakened heart muscle. It can also be caused by:

  • An electrolyte imbalance, such as low potassium or magnesium levels
  • Medications that are used to treat irregular heart rhythms
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Strong emotions such as fear, stress or excitement
  • Certain medical treatments, such as a pacemaker

Treatment for Recurrent Ventricular Fibrillation

Treatment for RVF is designed to restore the heart to a healthy rhythm and reduce the risks of further complications. Treatment typically includes the use of an AED or other medical intervention to restore the heart’s rhythm. In some cases, medications or other treatments may be recommended.

Prevention of Recurrent Ventricular Fibrillation

Since RVF is often a result of an underlying heart condition, the best way to prevent recurrent ventricular fibrillation is to take steps to maintain a healthy heart. The steps you can take include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, managing stress levels, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels.