Cardioversion Service

Cardioversion is the use of electrical charge under general anaesthetic to restore your heart to a normal rhythm. As part of your procedure your consultant may also want you to have a Transoesophageal Echo (TOE). This is a heart scan using ultrasound (sound waves) to look at the structure of the heart and involves swallowing a soft flexible tube. This may be carried directly before the cardioversion.

 

GENERAL ANAESTHETIC

In order to deliver the electrical charge for the cardioversion you will be put under general anaesthetic. After receiving a general anaesthetic, your co-ordination may be affected and logical thinking may be temporarily interrupted due to the effects of the drug. You must be fasting for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure. You will need a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure.

Do not...

  • Drink alcohol for 24 hours
  • Drive a car for 24 hours
  • Operate machinery or electrical equipment e.g. cooking
  • Make any vital decisions or sign legal documents
  • Climb ladders, step up on chairs or stools for 24 hours
  • Take any medication not prescribed or acknowledged by your Cardiologist or Anaesthetist.

 

Please do...

  • Follow consultants advice regarding the resumption of full activity and returning to work
  • Observe any special instructions which the Doctor or Nurse have advised
  • Take plenty of fluids
  • Eat light meals as desired

 

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

  • Stroke
  • Burns to the skin on chest or back
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat)
  • Cardioversions don’t always bring back normal heart rhythms. If normal rhythms don’t return, you may need medicines, a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

 

SEEK URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DEVELOP AFTER DISCHARGE:

  • Rapid heart rate or palpitations
  • Dizziness or passing out
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Numbness or weakness in the arm or leg or difficulty with speech.

 

Available at the following locations:

  • Cork
  • Dublin

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