Merck Manual

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Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)

By

L. Brent Mitchell

, MD, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary

Medically Reviewed Jan 2021 | Modified Sep 2022
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Topic Resources

Ventricular fibrillation causes uncoordinated quivering of the ventricle with no useful contractions. It causes immediate syncope and death within minutes. Treatment is with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including immediate defibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is due to multiple wavelet reentrant electrical activity and is manifested on electrocardiogram (ECG) by ultrarapid baseline undulations that are irregular in timing and morphology.

Ventricular fibrillation is much less common among infants and children, in whom asystole is the more common presentation of cardiac arrest.

Treatment of Ventricular Fibrillation

  • Defibrillation

  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

Overview of Ventricular Fibrillation
VIDEO
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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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