Heart Rhythms

AEDs – Special Circumstances

AEDs were originally developed to speed defibrillation in cases of out of-hospital cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) by enabling more rescuers, including laypeople, to defibrillate3. The process behind successfully using an AED in an emergency is well-known to healthcare providers and laypersons who have taken even the most…

Becoming Familiar with Synchronized Cardioversion

Between 370,000 and 750,000 American patients suffer in-hospital cardiac arrest with attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation each year9. In this population, the only rhythm-specific therapy proven to increase survival to hospital discharge is timely defibrillation2. Timely defibrillation is the only rhythm-specific therapy proven to increase survival to hospital discharge following cardiac arrest secondary to ventricular tachyarrhythmia9. For…

Shockable Rhythms

Much of Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is about determining the right medication to use at the appropriate time and deciding when to defibrillate. Along with high quality CPR, emergency medicines and defibrillation are the only two interventions that are likely to restart the arrested heart. Defibrillation a powerful tool in the hands of the…