VF; Fibrillation – ventricular
Definition of Ventricular fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is a severely abnormal heart rhythm () that can be life-threatening.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The heart pumps blood to the lungs, brain, and other organs. Interruption of the heartbeat for only a few seconds can lead to fainting (syncope) or cardiac arrest.
A person who has a VF episode will suddenly collapse or become unconscious, because the brain and muscles have stopped receiving blood from the heart.
Signs and tests
VF is an emergency condition. Seek immediate medical attention.
Ventricular fibrillation is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately to save a person’s life.
VF can lead to death within a few minutes or a few days. The survival rate for a person who has a VF attack outside the hospital ranges between 2% and 25%.
Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Director, Northwestern Clinic Echocardiography Lab, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/1/2010