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Electrical Cardioversion -- Getting Started

Clip Number: 4 of 23
Presentation: Electrical Cardioversion
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Now we will discuss what will happen prior to your procedure.
In some cases, based on your medical history, it will be necessary for you to take blood thinning medicine to prepare for cardioversion. As the name implies, blood thinners are used in an attempt to prevent blood clots from forming in your body. If your doctor prescribes blood thinners, your healthcare providers may need to take a sample of your blood to make sure it is thinned enough.
Occasionally in the place of blood thinners, other exams may be performed to assure that there are no clots present in your heart.
Six to eight hours before the procedure, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything. You can take your regular medicine but only with small sips of water.
When you arrive at the hospital or cardiac care facility you will be taken to a procedure room. Be prepared for questions about your past medical history, your medications and allergies.
An intravenous or IV will be inserted into your arm using a small needle. This may feel slightly uncomfortable, like a small pinch.
Patches will be applied to the skin of your chest, arms or legs for an electrocardiogram, or EKG. An EKG records the electrical activity of your heart.
Lastly, you will meet anesthesia healthcare professionals who will give you drugs through your IV to relax and comfort you, and put you to sleep for 5 - 10 minutes. These drugs also decrease your memory of the procedure.

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