According to Medscape, defibrillation is a process that delivers electrical energy to the heart during any phase of the cardiac cycle, whereas electrical cardioversion is synchronized to deliver electrical energy on the R wave, or the QRS complex. Medscape states that cardioversion is usually not emergent and is performed using sedation. Conversely, Medscape reveals that defibrillation is an emergent maneuver and sedation is usually not given beforehand.Continue Reading
The indications for cardioversion and defibrillation also differ. Medscape states that a cardioversion may be performed when a person has atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, stable ventricular tachycardia or supraventricular tachycardia. In addition, Medscape states cardioversion may be performed on any unstable person that has a reentrant tachycardia with a rate greater than 150 beats per minute. Medscape defines the person as unstable if chest pain, hypotension or pulmonary edema are present. Defibrillation may occur if a patient has pulseless ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation or cardiac arrest resulting in ventricular fibrillation, as stated by Medscape.
Similar complications may occur during or after defibrillation and cardioversion. Medline Plus, Medscape and the American Heart Association state that a person may have burning or pain where the electrodes are placed, worsening of the arrhythmia or thromboembolism. Thromboembolism is the release of a blood clot which can travel to the brain, causing a stroke.Learn more about Cardiac Health
A resting heart rate chart gives the average heart rates that people should have when they aren't exerting energy through physical activity or movement, according to the American Heart Association. The average heart rate for adults who are 18 years old or older is 60 to 100 beats per minute.Full Answer >
A catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation is a procedure in which a doctor guides a catheter into the heart through a vein and uses the catheter to deliver energy to areas of the heart that cause atrial fibrillation, explains WebMD. The procedure is usually done using local anesthetic and sedation.Full Answer >
Electrical cardioversion can cause small skin burns from the paddles or patches that are placed on the patient's chest, according to WebMD. This is because a low-voltage current of electricity is used to restore the heart's normal rhythm during atrial fibrillation.Full Answer >
Doctors provide nonemergency cardioversion to treat atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, according to Mount Sinai Hospital. These conditions are not life threatening, and the nonemergency cardioversion may convert the abnormal heart rhythms back to the normal sinus rhythm, explains the Heart Rhythm Society.Full Answer >