When your heart goes out (see heart attack) sometimes it hasn't stopped completely but is fluttering weakly, with different areas of the heart beating independently of one another. That's fibrillation.

Since that isn't doing you any good, somebody invented a device (a defibrillator) to give you an electric shock, which makes your heart give a good unified pump. Sometimes this gets your heart going again. Then you're defribullated.

Fibrillation does not always preceed or cause heart attacks.

If you have an irregular heartbeat you might also correct it by means of chemical treatments or with a pacemaker.

In hospitals, Code Blue is often used to indicate that defibrillation is needed.

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