What Are the Risks and Prevention Methods of Electrical Cardioversion?

Q: What are the risks and prevention methods of electrical cardioversion?

A: All medications have risks and may induce dangerous accidents. Electrical cardioversion also has risks. Fortunately, prevention methods and remedies have also been developed. Read more for more information.

By implementing the procedure, patients may face the following risks:

  • A blood clot may be removed from the heart, which may lead to a stroke. Under the circumstances, your doctor will use anticoagulants or other measures as an effort to decrease the possibility of this risk.
  • The procedure may fail to be effective. You may have to undergo another cardioversion or resort to other treatment.
  • Antiarrhythmic medicines you take before and after cardioversion are supposed to control your pain and make you feel relaxed. But these medicines or even the cardioversion itself is possible to lead to an irregular heartbeat that is life-threatening.
  • You may be allergic or sensitive to the medicines your doctor gives to you before you undergo the procedure. But it is rare for these medicines to induce harmful reactions.
  • The area of your body on which the patches are placed may feel burning. But once you finish the procedure, the pain is likely to end as well.

In some urgent cases like emergencies, your doctor might do a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) before your cardioversion procedure. This step is to see if there is a clot in your heart that could induce a stroke. Depending on this diagnose, your doctor will decide the right and safe time to implement the procedure. Usually, stroke is more likely to occur if your AFib lasts more than 48 hours.



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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.