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Ventricular Tachy Arrhythmias

There are two main types of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias: ventricular tachycardia or VT and ventricular fibrillation or VF. Both can cause sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death

Ventricular fibrillation

In VF, multiple impulses from the heart’s lower chambers or ventricles fire very fast. They prevent the ventricles from beating effectively. The ventricles quiver or fibrillate and don’t pump blood to the rest of the body. This may cause you to pass out. It can cause death if the heart is not given an electrical shock or defibrillation immediately.

Patient education – video links

Cardiac arrest – Select Common Heart Problems, then Cardiac Arrest from the dropdown menu.
Ventricular fibrillation
 – Select Ventricular Fibrillation from the dropdown menu.

Patient education – narrative information

Sudden cardiac arrest
Heart rhythm disorders ventricular fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation
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Ventricular tachycardia

VT is caused by the rapid firing of one or more electrical impulses in one or both of the lower chambers or ventricles of the heart. These rapid impulses can cause the ventricles to beat very fast and abnormally. The faster the heart rate, the less time the ventricles have to fill with blood between each heartbeat.

VT can cause severe symptoms such as:

  • Severe dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Passing out

VT can come and go (nonsustained), or it can persist (sustained). Sustained VT requires emergency treatment to convert the heart to a normal rhythm. If it’s not treated, sustained VT can deteriorate into ventricular fibrillation and cause sudden death.

Patient education – video links

Ventricular tachycardia Select Ventricular Tachycardia from the dropdown menu.
VT, ischemic
 Select Ventric. Tach. Ischem. from the dropdown menu.
VT, RVOT
 Select Ventric. Tach. RVOT from the dropdown menu.
VT, idiopathic
 Select Ventric. Tach. Idiopathic from the dropdown menu.

Patient education – narrative information

Heart rhythm disorders, ventricular tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia
Información en español