When the heart beats abnormally, blood may not be adequately transported to all parts of the body. Upon completing a series of tests to detect the abnormal rhythm, a cardiologist may introduce a defibrillation process to their patient. This process uses an electric shock to correct the rhythm of the heart.
The Use Of Low-Energy And High-Energy Shocks
An abnormal heartbeat will be one that is not rhythmic or one that beats too fast or too slowly. Heart issues are taken seriously and often require emergency care. A physical assessment, imaging procedures, and an EKG/ECG (electrocardiogram) are used to detect heart problems. A defibrillation process is used to speed up the heart, slow down the heart, or reinstate a normal rhythm that consists of beats that are evenly spaced apart.
A low-energy shock is typically introduced first. Low voltage can often correct a heart problem. If a low-energy shock is not successful at remedying the situation, however, a cardiologist may use a high-energy shock. Upon the completion of a defibrillation process, a patient will be monitored. A patient may require aftercare services that involve staying at a medical facility for a couple of hours. If a heart issue was moderate or severe and a cardiologist wants to keep a closer eye on a patient, they may require them to stay overnight in a hospital.
How The Process Is Conducted
A defibrillator is a small portable device that sends electric shocks automatically or a large portable device that is typically used in a medical setting. A hospital or medical office defibrillator may contain components that are affixed to a cart. Two paddles, a series of electrodes, and cords will be part of a defibrillation unit. The electrodes will be attached to a patient's body while they remain in a supine position.
The electrodes will detect the rhythm of the heart. A doctor will be in control of monitoring a patient and determining when to use the paddles to release an electric shock. A patient may feel a sudden jolt. Many medical providers will sedate patients who will be receiving this process. Defibrillation is non-invasive.
The two paddles will be applied directly to the skin on the chest during the defibrillation process. Once the process is complete, a doctor will remove the electrodes from the patient. They will begin monitoring the patient's heartbeat to ensure that its rhythm has been restored.
Contact a heart health clinic near you to learn more.