External electrical cardioversion was first performed in the 1950s. Urgent or elective cardioversions have specific advantages, such as termination of atrial and ventricular tachycardia and recovery of sinus rhythm. Electrical cardioversion is life-saving when applied in urgent circumstances. The succcess rate is increased by accurate tachycardia diagnosis, careful patient selection, adequate electrode (paddles) application, determination of the optimal energy and anesthesia levels, prevention of embolic events and arrythmia recurrence and airway conservation while minimizing possible complications. Potential complications include ventricular fibrillation due to general anesthesia or lack of synchronization between the direct current (DC) shock and the QRS complex, thromboembolus due to insufficient anticoagulant therapy, non-sustained VT, atrial arrhythmia, heart block, bradycardia, transient left bundle branch block, myocardial necrosis, myocardial dysfunction, transient hypotension, pulmonary edema and skin burn. Electrical cardioversion performed in patients with a pacemaker or an incompatible cardioverter defibrillator may lead to dysfunction, namely acute or chronic changes in the pacing or sensitivity threshold. Although this procedure appears fairly simple, serious consequences might occur if inappropriately perfformed.