Risk Score

Prepared by Samuel Hayden on July 21, 2024

Expires on January 21, 2025

Electrical Cardioversion

For Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter

Sometimes the heart can go into an abnormal rhythm like atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. These rhythms can cause very fast heart rates, low blood pressure, and may increase the risk of developing blood clots that can cause a stroke. Depending on your history and some of your risk factors, your doctor might suggest giving you an electric "shock" to help restore a normal heart rhythm. This procedure is called an Electrical Cardioversion, and it is usually done with some sedative or pain medications. It is not always successful, and the abnormal heart rhythm may return again in the future. In addition to effects from medication, complications can include things like causing a stroke, a dangerously fast or slow heart rhythm, decreased breathing, or very rarely death.*

While this chart shows an example of an “average” healthcare risk, it does not constitute professional medical advice so always seek independent professional medical advice prior to any health treatment. See full Medical Advice Disclaimer by clicking here.

Electrical Cardioversion


No Serious Complications


Unsuccessful Cardioversion


Complications (dangerous heart rhythm, stroke, death, etc)

*Xavier Scheuermeyer, Frank, et al. "Thirty‐day outcomes of emergency department patients undergoing electrical cardioversion for atrial fibrillation or flutter." Academic Emergency Medicine 17.4 (2010): 408-415.