Ventricular Fibrillation

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Ventricular fibrillation is when the heart is beating too erratically which can lead to the bottom chambers of the heart to not pump blood. Ventricular fibrillation will cause the blood pressure to fall and will cut off blood supply to the vital organs. This condition requires immediate attention since the person will collapse within seconds.


The most common cause of ventricular fibrillation is an issue with the abnormal electrical impulses in the heart after a heart attack. In most cases, ventricular fibrillation is linked to some form of heart disease.


The most common sign of ventricular fibrillation is a loss of consciousness, however there are some early symptoms a person may feel before they lose consciousness. These symptoms include

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose ventricular fibrillation. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood tests
  • Coronary catheterization
  • Cardiac CT
  • MRI


The goal of treatment is to reduce the patient’s risk of future ventricular fibrillation. The doctor may suggest the following treatment methods for the patient

  • Medication
  • ICD
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Coronary bypass surgery

Lifestyle Changes:

In addition to treatment, the doctor may suggest the patient make some lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of ventricular fibrillation. These changes include

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a healthy range