Ventricular Fibrillation in Emergency Medicine Workup

Updated: Jan 12, 2021
  • Author: Keith A Marill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Laboratory studies in the workup of ventricular fibrillation include the following:

  • Serum electrolyte levels, including calcium and magnesium

  • Cardiac enzymes to identify myocardial injury

  • Complete blood count (CBC) to detect contributing anemia

  • Arterial blood gases (ABGs) and serum lactate levels to assess the degree of acidosis or hypoxemia

  • Toxicologic screens and levels as clinically indicated


Imaging Studies

Chest radiography may identify aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary edema, cardiomegaly, and injury (eg, secondary to cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR]).

Electrocardiography (ECG) is used to help identify ischemic or proarrhythmic conditions.