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Emergency Medical Minute


Jun 23, 2017

Author: Aaron Lessen, M.D.

Educational Pearls

  • Atrial fibrillation is common.
  • One of the best treatments for a fib is cardioversion back into sinus rhythm.
  • Cardioversion may increase stroke risk if A-Fib duration is greater than 48 hours, but some new data suggests that this risk may happen as soon as 12 hours.
  • However, newer studies show that cardioversion is generally safe as a treatment for A-Fib.

References: Aatish Garg, Monica Khunger, Sinziana Seicean, Mina K. Chung, Patrick J.Tchou Incidence of Thromboembolic Complications Within 30 Days of Electrical Cardioversion Performed Within 48 Hours of Atrial Fibrillation Onset. JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology Aug 2016, 2 (4) 487-494; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacep.2016.01.018