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A 39-year-old member asked:

Is there a difference between cardioversion and defibrillation?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shahin Tavackoli
Cardiology 24 years experience
Yes: Cardioversion encompasses defibrillation. Technically, if one is not in a fibrillating rhythm, the proper term for the act of delivering a shock to convert the rhythm back to normal is cardioversion, not defibrillation. In practice, the two terms are often used interchangeably however.
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Dr. Brian Strizik
29 years experience
Not really: Technically yes, cardioversion is synchronized, defib is not.
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Dr. Louise Andrew
A Verified Doctoranswered
Emergency Medicine 47 years experience
Voltage: Cardioversion means using a stimulus to change the heart's beat from an abnormal rhythm to a normal one. Certain drugs can be used, or electricity, usually only a low voltage is required unless the abnormal rhythm is a very dangerous one called ventricular fibrillation. When the rhythm is ventricular fibrillation, usually more voltage (electricity) is needed, and it is called defibrillation.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Calvin Weisberger
52 years experience
Cardiovert: Cardioversion is the process of converting an abnormal cardiac rhythm to normal. It encompasses any means of doing that. Defibrillation is a subset of cardioversion. It is when a fibrillation rhythm, atrial or ventricular is converted to a more normal rhythm
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Last updated Jun 6, 2015

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