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Ventricular Fibrillation - Ventricular Rhythms.

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  • The morphologic features are different with this dysrhythmia. No P wave and no QRS complexes. This rhythm presents with a chaotic waveform which reflects the electrical chaos occurring within the heart.
  • The heart is not actually beating as we know it. The chaos occurs as a result of small regions of tissue which are independently depolarizing.
  • This rapid disorganized electrical activity actually makes the heart appear to quiver in response to this activity. Some have described it as shaking like Jello.
  • Fibrillatory waves may be coarse or very fine. This is based upon their size. The longer V Fib occurs, the smaller the waveforms are likely to be.
  • (Description continues on next slide)
ventricular fibrillation tracing part 1

Description (continued)

  • Coarse Ventricular Fibrillation (coarse V Fib) is when a majority of the waveforms measure 3 mm or greater
  • Fine V Fib (fine vfib) is when a majority of the waveforms measure less than 3 mm
  • This is absolutely a life-threatening dysrhythmia which requires, immediate, effective, and aggressive care.
  • (Follow your local reporting and treatment protocols)
  • If your patient is talking to you when you see this on the monitor, then your patient is not in V Fib. Always, check your patient first, but there will likely be a loose or disconnected lead wire or electrode.
ventricular fibrillation tracing part 2

VFib Practice Strip

ventricular ecg image 120

Analyze this vfib rhythm strip using the five steps of rhythm analysis.

Show Answer
  • Rhythm: Irregular
  • Rate: Unable to determine
  • P Wave: absent
  • PR interval: absent
  • QRS: absent
  • Interpretation: Ventricular Fibrillation (Fine)

Authors and Sources

Authors and Reviewers


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