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Electrical cardioversion is a procedure that uses an electric
current to stop the heart momentarily. This helps the heart have a normal
rhythm when it resumes beating.
Usually a person is given a sedative before the procedure. Then patches are placed on the person's chest. The patches send an electrical current to the heart. An external defibrillator, which has paddles, might be used in some situations. Doctors are prepared to help
maintain a person's circulation during the procedure with medicines and other
Cardioversion may be used to help the heart return to a normal
rhythm after medicines have failed to do so. The procedure also may be done
in emergency situations. For example, it may be done to correct a fast heart rhythm that is causing
low blood pressure, chest pain, or heart failure.
Current as of:
April 3, 2017
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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