Q- What is Electrical Cardioversion? 

Cardioversion is a medical therapy that allows persons with some types of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) to regain a normal heart rhythm. Cardioversion is often performed by administering electric shocks to your heart via electrodes on your chest. Cardioversion can also be done with medicines. 

Cardioversion is usually a scheduled procedure that's performed in a hospital. Your procedure should allow you to return home the same day. Cardioversion swiftly recovers a normal heart rhythm in the majority of people.

Q-Why might I need electrical cardioversion?

Electrical cardioversion can help treat several different abnormal heart rhythms. It's a frequent treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib). Other irregular cardiac rhythms that can be treated with electrical cardioversion include atrial flutter, which is comparable to AFib, certain types of supraventricular tachycardias, and ventricular tachycardia (VT).

Your healthcare professional may try alternative methods to reset the heart rate before attempting electrical cardioversion. The Valsalva manoeuvre may be included in this. This is a technique that involves holding your breath and increasing the pressure in your stomach. This can assist in lowering the heart rate. Your healthcare professional may then try medications to restore the natural rhythm. If these approaches fail, electrical cardioversion is frequently used as a last resort. In some circumstances, electrical cardioversion is the first action that should be taken.

Q- What are the risks of electrical cardioversion?

Risks may vary based on your age, the type of abnormal heart rhythm you have, and your other medical conditions. Ask your healthcare provider about your risks. Common risks are: Other less dangerous abnormal rhythms, Temporary low blood pressure, Heart damage (usually temporary and without symptoms), Heart failure, Skin damage Dislodged blood clot, which can cause stroke, pulmonary embolism, or other problems

Q-What happens during electrical cardioversion?                                                             

Discuss what to expect during your operation with your health provider. If you require emergency electrical cardioversion, the procedure may differ. In general, you can expect the following- 

  • Soft electrode pads are applied to the chest and maybe the back. To get the electrode pads to stick, you may need to shave some sections of skin.
  • A cardioversion machine will be connected to these electrodes.
  • You will be given medicine to put you to sleep through a vein in your arm.
  • Using the cardioversion machine, a programmed high-energy shock is sent to your heart. This should convert your heart back to a normal rhythm. 
  • Your team will closely monitor your heart rhythm. They will watch for any signs of complications. 
  • The procedure only takes a few minutes. When it is done, you will wake up.


Q- What happens after Electrical Cardioversion?

     Ask your healthcare provider about what to expect. You will likely: 

  • Wake up 5 to 10 minutes after the procedure 
  • Be closely watched for signs of complications for several hours 
  • Feel sleepy for several hours after the cardioversion. Arrange to have someone drive you home
  • Go home the same day as the procedure 
  • Have some redness or soreness on your chest that lasts for a few days.

Please watch the video below on Electrical Cardioversion-

Reference: Electrical Cardioversion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/electrical-cardioversion