Document Detail

Emergency management of acute cardiac arrhythmias.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17619662     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Anything other than normal sinus rhythm can be classified as an arrhythmia. However not all arrhythmias need acute intervention. OBJECTIVE: This article reviews which arrhythmias need intervention in an acute setting, and the various options available for intervention. DISCUSSION: The impact of an arrhythmia upon perfusion determines what intervention should be considered. Conscious level, cardiac ischaemia secondary to poor perfusion of the coronary arteries and blood pressure need to be assessed. Patients with bradycardias with adequate perfusion are treated initially with oxygen and observation. Sinus bradycardia not responding to increased oxygenation is treated with atropine. For other bradycardias the two alternatives are to drive the inherent rate with a sympathomimetic drug or to pace the patient with an external or internal pacer. Usually supraventricular tachycardias are not life threatening. Unconscious patients with wide complex tachycardia should be treated in a standard cardiac arrest approach. Conscious patients in ventricular fibrillation however, can be treated either chemically or with synchronised cardioversion. If a patient is in cardiac arrest the approach is to establish effective resuscitation and early defibrillation as per Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines.
Hugh J M Grantham
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Australian family physician     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0300-8495     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust Fam Physician     Publication Date:  2007 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-07-10     Completed Date:  2007-08-14     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0326701     Medline TA:  Aust Fam Physician     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  492-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
SA Ambulance Service, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Arrhythmias, Cardiac / classification,  diagnosis,  drug therapy*
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Heart Arrest / therapy*
Oxygen / therapeutic use*
Severity of Illness Index
Sympathomimetics / therapeutic use*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Sympathomimetics; 7782-44-7/Oxygen

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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