Defibrillators for Irregular Heart BeatFREE Case Review
An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, is one of the most dangerous medical emergencies. The heartbeat is regulated by the brain, but should there be an interruption in the connection between these two organs the heart will no longer beat in sync with the level of physical activity. Arrhythmias can happen at any time however, even during rest or sleep, which is why so many people rely on Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) to regulate their heartbeat.
When the heart beats too quickly or is out of sync with the rest of the circulatory system its chambers cannot fill with blood fast enough, and the muscle pumps regardless of the amount of blood in its chambers. Once there is a disruption in blood flow there is a significant risk of cardiac arrest or “sudden cardiac death.” If the blood supply to the brain becomes interrupted, brain damage or death can occur within minutes. ICDs regulate heartbeat by providing a shock to keep a proper rhythm. Without such prompting, many arrhythmias become fatal in short order.
The most dangerous heartbeat is called ventricular tachycardia. This sudden rapid heartbeat is dangerous by itself, but it can readily turn into ventricular fibrillation, an equally serious condition characterized by chaotic and irregular heartbeats. The overstressed heart cannot properly distribute blood to the brain or other vital organs which can cause an individual to lose consciousness and potentially die within minutes.
An ICD provides an electrical charge to the heart in order to “reset” the rhythm and prevent the spastic contractions of fibrillation. Under idea conditions, the heart returns to a normal rhythm, restoring blood circulation and preventing serious damage.