Research Article

Electrical requirements for ventricular defibrillation.

Br Med J 1975; 2 doi: (Published 10 May 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;2:313
  1. J F Pantridge,
  2. A A Adgey,
  3. S W Webb,
  4. J Anderson


    Most deaths from ischaemic heart disease are sudden, occur outside hospital, and result from ventricular fibrillation. But defibrillators have only limited availability because of their size and weight. A miniature defibrillator has been developed. A singe low-energy shock succeeded in removing ventricular fibrillation in 73 out of 82 episodes, and a further shock was successful in seven more episodes. Primary ventricular fibrillation probably always responds to low-energy electrical shocks, which challenges the conventional view that correction of ventricular fibrillation requires high-energy direct-current shock. Thus even smaller and lighter defibrillators are possible. Furthermore low-energy shocks cause less myocardial damage.