Is Shock Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation Dangerous?

Shock treatment (also known as electric shock or electrical cardioversion) is a type of treatment for atrial fibrillation.

First of all, do not be misled by movies. Shock treatment is very safe. Though a minimal release of muscle enzymes is seen in some cases, serious complications are unusual. The current recommendation from the American College of Cardiology is to anticoagulate patients with chronic AF for three to four weeks prior and for at least four weeks following cardioversion.

If you have had AFib for less than 48 hours, your doctor might perform cardioversion right away. Otherwise, you will be treated with warfarin (Coumadin) in case of the release of blood clots. The main goal of operating an electrical cardioversion is to normalize the rate and rhythm of your heart, preventing them from getting out of control.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.