This procedure restores normal heart rhythm by applying an electric shock. Some are external (on the skin) and others implantable (permanent), though the latter is only suitable for some specific situations.
Defibrillation is based on the sudden and brief application of a high voltage electric current to stop and reverse the rapid cardiac arrhythmias (sustained ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation), situations where the number of heartbeats increases excessively or disorganized electrical activity occurs, because some area or place in the heart ‘triggers’ impulses uncontrollably, which are not effective or cause hemodynamic instability (deterioration of vital signs) and that can lead a person to experience cardiac arrest. The electric shock stops the arrhythmia, allowing the physician to identify and solve the causes behind it.
- Single percutaneous puncture (Seldinger technique)
- Right/left subclavian vein
- By way of exception, the jugular
- Local anesthesia
- Once in awhile, general anesthesia