Ventricular fibrillation is a heart rhythm problem that occurs when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. During ventricular fibrillation, your blood pressure plummets, cutting off blood supply to your vital organs. Ventricular fibrillation is frequently triggered by a heart attack.
Ventricular fibrillation is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. A person with ventricular fibrillation will collapse within seconds and soon won’t be breathing or have a pulse. Emergency treatment for ventricular fibrillation includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shocks to the heart with a device called a defibrillator.
Treatments for those at risk of ventricular fibrillation include medications and implantable devices that can restore a normal heart rhythm. Loss of consciousness or fainting is the most common sign of ventricular fibrillation.
Early ventricular fibrillation symptoms
It’s possible that you may have other signs and symptoms that start about an hour before your heart goes into ventricular fibrillation and you faint. These include:
-Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
-Shortness of breath
Angioplasty is a widely used procedure that is performed for patients with cardiovascular disease. The procedure involves inserting a medical device, such as a balloon, into your heart to open the heart artery narrowed by plaque. It may involve placement of a stent (mesh tube) to help keep the vessel open. The stent may be coated with medicine.
Heart disease treated with angioplasty usually provides rapid relief of symptoms such as chest pain and/or shortness of breath. The majority of patients return to regular life activities without chest pain in a short time.
Angioplasty is used to: -Restore blood flow to the affected area of the heart by treating narrowed coronary arteries -Provide prompt relief of chest pain and/or shortness of breath after procedure -Potentially reduce the risk of heart attack and prolong life compared to no treatment Coronary Stents Stents are tiny, expandable tubes made of metal mesh designed to open a blood vessel that is blocked by plaque. The angioplasty procedure opens the artery, and stents are placed and expanded to fit the size, shape and bend of the artery. The stent remains in the artery after the procedure to help keep the artery open. Over time, the artery wall heals around the stent.
There are two kinds of coronary artery stents. -Bare-metal stents help keep the cleared artery open after angioplasty by supporting the artery wall after angioplasty. Bare-metal stents help to prevent the artery from re-narrowing. -Photo of TAXUS Express Drug-Eluting StentDrug-coated stents are bare-metal stents with a special drug coating. These stents are also called drug-eluting stents, or DES. DES have the same support benefits as a bare-metal stent for keeping the artery open after angioplasty. In addition, the stent releases a drug over time to further reduce the chance of re-blockage.
Arteries commonly become blocked again about 7% of the time with drug-coated stents, compared to 25% for bare-metal stents.¹
Carotid angioplasty is a procedure that opens clogged arteries to prevent or treat stroke. The carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck and are the main arteries supplying blood to your brain. The procedure involves temporarily inserting and inflating a tiny balloon where your carotid artery is clogged to widen the artery Carotid angioplasty and stenting may be an appropriate stroke treatment or stroke prevention option if:
-You have a history of heart problems, such as congestive heart failure, unstable angina or a failed stress test
-You have a carotid artery with a 70 percent blockage or more, especially if you’ve had a stroke or stroke symptoms, and you aren’t in good enough health to undergo surgery — for example, if you have severe heart or lung disease or had radiation for neck tumors
-You’ve already had a carotid endarterectomy and are experiencing new narrowing after surgery (restenosis)
-The location of the narrowing (stenosis) is difficult to access with endarterectomy
In some cases, traditional carotid surgery (carotid endarterectomy) may be advised to remove the buildup of plaques (fatty material) that is narrowing the artery.
Aspirin helps prevent the formation of blood clots. This can decrease the chance that a blood clot will form and block an already-narrowed artery.
Brand-name aspirin is no more effective than generic or store brands. Why It Is Used. Aspirin may be given to people who have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It may also be used after bypass surgery or angioplasty to prevent the formation of blood clots after these procedures. How Well It Works. Aspirin may lower the risk for heart attack and stroke in people who have peripheral arterial disease.
Aspirin is usually advised. A daily low dose (75 mg) is usual. This does not help with symptoms of PAD, but helps to prevent blood clots (thromboses) forming in arteries. It does this by reducing the stickiness of platelets in the bloodstream. Here are some important things to think about side effects:
-Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
-Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
-If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Your doctor may recommend coronary angioplasty if you have narrow or blocked coronary arteries as a result of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Angioplasty is one treatment for CHD. Other treatments include medicines and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). CABG is a type of surgery in which a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to a blocked coronary artery.
The grafted artery or vein bypasses (that is, goes around) the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This improves blood flow to the heart.
Compared with CABG, some advantages of angioplasty are that it: -Doesn’t require open-heart surgery -Doesn’t require general anesthesia (that is, you won’t be given medicine to make you sleep during the procedure) -Has a shorter recovery time
However, angioplasty isn’t for everyone. For some people, CABG might be a better option. For example, CABG might be used to treat people who have severe CHD, narrowing of the left main coronary artery, or poor function in the lower left heart chamber.
Your doctor will consider many factors when deciding which treatment(s) to recommend. Angioplasty also is used as an emergency treatment for heart attack. As plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, it can rupture. This can cause a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque and block blood flow to the heart muscle. Quickly opening the blockage restores blood flow and reduces heart muscle damage during a heart attack.