Cardioversion please tell me it's less scary than the nurse said

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am having cardioversion for my AF end of the month and had my pre assessment last week. The nurse said she was going to put the pads on my chest and also on my back so I get a "good shock". She said I would be sedated and she would lift my eyelids and call my name and tap my face to make sure I was pretty much out of it and she said when she administers the shock I will rise up and scream as it feels like someone stamping on your chest.

Can anyone tell me please if this is the case as I am now petrified.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Do not be petrified... it really is a walk in the park. Good luck and hope you stay in NSR

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tony, are you talking from experience and did it work?

      They say the hospital has a 97% success rate but after a few weeks it goes down to 50%. I suppose if someone said you had a 50% chance of winning the lottery you would go for it 😃

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    • Posted

      No worries and yes speaking from experience. The 50% figure is correct so the first month is key. Let us know how it goes and i repeat "do not be petrefied" Take care.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tony, my cardioversion was cancelled due to lack of cardiac care nurses so I am now booked in for 20th March. The second nurse I spoke to was fine she said that patients wake up and feel like you would if you woke up after hearing a bang in the night a bit startled and shocked. She said that is what she had been told. I went for what I thought was my pre-op again yesterday only to find they had called me as a follow up on the one that was cancelled so nothing had been put on the computer. The registrar then told me I would be lucky if it lasted a few weeks and would probably only last a day. He then said an ablation does not last either and I would be on Amiodarone which would damage my liver, thyroid and lungs. I was devastated and so upset. I asked him what the chances of me feeling well again and he just looked down at the desk and said some people in their 80's might last for 5 years and I am 60 and young to have it but did not really give me much confidence and no other options if this fails. I was hoping it would last for years, otherwise what is the point in having it done at all for such a short space of time?

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  • Posted

    Which hospital is this happening in?

    If the Nurse really said that she should be in line for "advice" from HR in how to speak to patients, I'd consider making a formal issue out of it if I were you.

    So far as Cardioversion goes, I had mine in August last year, I was given 50% odds of it working permanently and so far so good. I'm running in the London Marathon this year so all seems back to normal.

    The procedure itself was smooth and stress free, thanks in a large part to the professionalism of the Heart Failure nurses at Salisbury Hospital.

    I was given my general anaesthetic and the next thing I knew i felt as if I was waking up from a nap. Absolutely no pain or discomfort at the time, from the following day I had a patch on my back and front where the pads went that itched as if I had missed the factor fifty for a day in Spain but that was it.

    I had the procedure on the Friday and on the Sunday I was out running properly for the first time in about a year. I may have got some dust in my eye because I got a bit emotional about being "fixed".

    I would genuinely consider making a complaint about the nurse's behaviour, you could refer the HR dept to regulation 10 of the Care Quality Commission, specifically the part that says

    "providers must make sure that they provide care and treatment in a way that ensures people's dignity and treats them with respect at all times"

    but most importantly DO NOT WORRY IT WILL NOT BE UNCOMFORTABLE AT ALL

    See you on the start line 😃

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    • Posted

      Hi i'm only having sedation so not sure if thats enough not to feel anything . I hope it works as I understand you realise how awful you felt before having it as you get used to AF. Thank you for putting my mind at rest.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jason,

      maria92018

      My cardioversion was cancelled due to lack of cardiac care nurses so I am now booked in for 20th March. The second nurse I spoke to was fine she said that patients wake up and feel like you would if you woke up after hearing a bang in the night a bit startled and shocked. She said that is what she had been told. I went for what I thought was my pre-op again yesterday only to find they had called me as a follow up on the one that was cancelled so nothing had been put on the computer. The registrar then told me I would be lucky if it lasted a few weeks and would probably only last a day. He then said an ablation does not last either and I would be on Amiodarone which would damage my liver, thyroid and lungs. I was devastated and so upset. I asked him what the chances of me feeling well again and he just looked down at the desk and said some people in their 80's might last for 5 years and I am 60 and young to have it but did not really give me much confidence and no other options if this fails. I was hoping it would last for years, otherwise what is the point in having it done at all for such a short space of time?

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    • Posted

      Hi Maria,

      You don't say which country you're in but I'm going to assume UK.

      Remember the joke.

      What is the difference between God and a Consultant Surgeon.

      God doesn't think he's a Consultant Surgeon.

      Go back to your GP and tell her you're not happy with the treatment from the team at the hospital you've been referred to and that you would like to be referred elsewhere.

      You are the most important person involved in your treatment and it is your absolute right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be allowed to make informed choices, if this team is failing to communicate to you correctly then you should go to one that can.

      I'm 56 now, 55 when I had the procedure so not so different from you. I was told that I had a 50 / 50 chance of permanent success and at least 75% chance of anything from 10 minutes to 10 years. At all times I was kept in the loop on what was happening and what was going to happen, I can't praise the team at Salisbury enough. You deserve the same experience.

      There aren't many advantages to getting older but having the confidence to not take any #$! off people is one of them.

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  • Posted

    I had cardioversion in October, on a Wednesday, I was released on Thursday, and on Sunday I was enjoying myself at a friend's wedding! You get a little propofol to knock you out, they do the deed, and you wake up, literally 6 minutes later, back in normal sinus rhythm. There was no pain of any kind...before, during or after. Don't be afraid - all will be well.

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  • Posted

    O.M.G nurse should not have said that!! My experience was fine yes i was worked up but fully explained and reasurred i had general anaesetic which is normal if going in as a non emergency.

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