1775 - Abildgaard performed experiments using electricity to stun and revive animals
1947 - Beck was the first to successfully use defibrillation on humans to treat ventricular dysrhythmia.
1962 - Lown evaluated the use of electrical cardioversion in the treatment of atrial fibrillation to a sinus rhythm using synchronized direct current shocks.
Cardioversion refers to an electrical energy discharge that is synchronized with the large R or S wave of the QRS complex.
Synchronization in the early part of the QRS complex avoids energy delivery in the early phase of repolarization when ventricular fibrillation (VF) can be easily induced.
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th edition
American Family Physicianhttp://www.aafp.org/afp/AFPprinter/980800ap/dello.html?print=yes
Heart Rhythm Societyhttp://hrspatients.org/patients/treatments/cardioversion.asp