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Ventricular fibrillation overview

Updated: July 27, 2009

Ventricular fibrillation is a cardiac condition which consists of a lack of coordination of the contraction of the muscle tissue of the large chambers of the heart. The ventricular muscle twitches randomly, rather than contracting in unison, and so the ventricles fail to pump blood into the arteries. Ventricular fibrillation is a medical emergency.

Clinical picture

If this arrhythmia continues for more than a few seconds, the blood pressure will collapse, blood circulation will cease, and death will ensue.

Ventricular fibrillation is one cause of cardiac arrest. Countering it is a major goal of advanced cardiac life support.


This condition can sometimes be reversed with the use of a defibrillator.

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