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Cardioversion is a procedure that is performed to restore a normal heart rhythm.  For some people that have certain types of abnormal heartbeats, such as an irregular beat or beating too fast, cardioversion can help restore a regular rhythm.

In non-emergency situations, elective cardioversion is used.  Commonly, cardioversion is used to treat atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is when the electrical signals are conducted abnormally within the chambers.  This can result in a fast and irregular heartbeat.  Other symptoms include shortness of breath and feeling very tired.  People who have atrial fibrillation may also be at an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots.

Elective cardioversion can also be used to treat other kinds of abnormal heartbeats including atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter.

Click here for more information from the American Heart Association, a national voluntary health agency that seeks to help reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.