Originally posted by UCberkFan: |
Okay-well my girlfriends dad has recenly been diagnosed with a heart problem...I'm not exactly sure what the situation is but I'm going to describe it as best as possible frm what I know and I'd appreciate it if someone could explain it better to me...
His heart is enlarged to two times the normal size and is constantly working much harder than it is supposed to be-so they are going to shock him (to stop his heart?!) in order to try to regulate the beating...if this doesnt work he has to get a pacemaker installed...What is the entire shocking thing? is that more safe than it sounds?! I'd just appreciate it if somoene would share their knowledge..thanks
What it sounds like is your girlfriend's dad has something called ventricular tachycardia. What that means is that the ventricles--the chambers of the heart that pump blood to the lungs and the body--are beating way too fast...too fast in fact that they're not really pumping blood that effectively. What this shocking does is send a blast of electricity to the heart which makes it actually stop, and then the hope is, when the heart restarts (which it always does) that all the crappy electrical signals have been "reset" and the heart (especially the ventricles) pump in beat again.
If ventricular tachycardia is left too long, what happens is instead of just beating really fast, the ventricles start twitching and squirming like a bag of worms. You can probably guess that, when this happens, hardly ANY blood is getting to the lungs or the rest of the body. This is called ventricular fibrillation (or Vfib). So, if they're finding that they have to continually shock your gf's dad to get rid of Vtach and Vfib, they can put something in his heart called an "ICD" or an implantable cardiac device. This, whenever it senses vfib or multiple runs of vtach will deliver a shock to the patient.
Does that make sense?