The nurse enters a patient's room and notices the telemetry monitor displaying an irregular bumpy line with no identifiable QRS waveforms. The patient is unresponsive. The nurse recognizes this heart rhythm as which of the following?

Ventricular fibrillation


•In ventricular fibrillation, electrical impulses occur in random areas of the myocardium of the ventricles. These electrical impulses are chaotic, so the ventricles are unable to contract or squeeze, but only to "quiver."

•The lack of ventricular contraction or "squeeze" does not effectively pump the blood out to the rest of the body. Without a steady supply of blood, the brain is deprived of oxygen, so the patient becomes unconscious and unresponsive. Death will occur if uncorrected.

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