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What Happens During Electrical Cardioversion?

Clip Number: 5 of 23
Presentation: Electrical Cardioversion
The following reviewers and/or references were utilized in the creation of this video:
Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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During electrical cardioversion, electricity is used to fix the electrical problem in the heart.
To begin the procedure, the patient will lie on their back while the doctor places two paddles, or large sticky pads, on the chest. Once the equipment is properly positioned, a low dose of electric shock is given to the heart through the paddles or pads. This is much milder than the jumpstart-like shock you may have seen given to actors on TV. This shock causes the heart's electrical activity to stop briefly. The heart will begin to beat again by itself after the shock, hopefully resuming a normal rhythm. If it does not, a second shock may be given.
Usually the doctor will repeat this only a small number of times. However, this will vary depending on the situation and how quickly the heart converts to a normal rhythm or has normal heartbeats. Usually the procedure lasts around ten minutes.
 

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