During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two small upper chambers (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively. Blood isn't pumped completely out of them, so it may pool and clot.

Ventricular fibrillation (ven-TRIK'u-ler fib"rih-LA'shun) ("V fib") is a condition in which the heart's electrical activity becomes disordered. When this happens, the heart's lower (pumping) chambers contract in a rapid, unsynchronized way. (The ventricles "flutter" rather than beat.) The heart pumps little or no blood.

 Atrial fibrillation, according to, is "the most common form of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

A common method to prevent atrial fibrillation, according to, is to have a person take antiarrhythmic medications. "These drugs work mostly by stabilizing the heart muscle tissue or slowing the heart rate."

If prevention doesn’t work, the current procedure to interrupt an episode of atrial fibrillation, Au-Yeung said, is called electrical cardioversion, during which an electric shock is administered to a person’s heart, attempting to resynchronize it and restore its natural rhythm.

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