The ventricles are the large lower chamber of the heart. They are responsible for moving blood to the organs and tissues of the body. In ventricular fibrillation, the heart’s ventricles contract in a rapid and chaotic manner. As a result, little or no blood is pumped from the heart. Unless medical help is provided immediately, ventricular fibrillation will lead to cardiovascular collapse and sudden death.
Blood Flow Through Heart
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Causes of ventricular fibrillation include:
- Inadequate blood flow to the heart due to coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Scar tissue within the heart due to previous injury to heart, such as a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Infection of the heart muscle ( myocarditis)
- Electrical shock
- Dangerously low body temperature ( hypothermia)
- Electrolyte imbalance (eg, very low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood)
- Drugs that affect the electrical currents of the heart (eg, sodium or potassium channel blockers)
- Low atmospheric oxygen
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.