Cardioversion is used to restore a normal heartbeat in patients whose heartbeats are too fast or irregular, also called arrhythmias. Doctors may use one of two methods for restoring normal heartbeat: they may opt to use medication or use electric shock or electrical cardioversion.
A condition called atrial fibrillation is usually the cause of arrhythmias. This occurs when the section of the heart sending electrical impulses (the atrium) starts sending out irregular signals, causing the heartbeat to become too fast or to beat in an irregular pattern. Other less common causes of irregular heartbeats can also be treated with this way. Occasionally, this treatment can help restore a normal heartbeat in emergency and life-threatening situations.
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