ventricular fibrillation love

ventricular fibrillation


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An often fatal form of arrhythmia characterized by rapid, irregular fibrillar twitching of the ventricles of the heart in place of normal contractions, resulting in a loss of pulse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Condition where the cardiac muscle is contracted irregularly and rapidly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fibrillation of heart muscles resulting in interference with rhythmic contractions of the ventricles and possibly leading to cardiac arrest


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  • "All night long as they lay in the snow, their bodies had fought to keep warm by drawing the blood away from their skin and exposed extremities and pushing it deep into the core. In the morning, when the boys stood up and began to walk for the first time in hours, the sudden change of position and unaccustomed motion triggered a massive fall in blood pressure. Blood from the cores of their bodies cooled as it moved into the cold extremities. Their pumping hearts forced this chilled blood to circulate. When it reached their hearts, the boys instantly went into ventricular fibrillation. Instead of contracting and releasing in steady rhythmic beats, the lower chambers of their hearts began to quiver without coordination or effect. Pumping quit; blood stopped circulating... Jesse and Omar blacked out. Ten or fifteen minutes later, their fibrillating hearts ceased to beat altogether and the boys died."

    —David Laskin, The Children's Blizzard (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 207–208

    I wish the guy had explained what the boys should or could have done, rather than getting up quickly. Could they change positions slowly? What should they have done to warm up more slowly, if they were still out in the cold and getting up to go for help?

    November 12, 2008