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External pacing

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 34, PAGE NO: 43

PHIL JEVON, RESUSCITATION OFFICER, MANOR HOSPITAL, WALSALL

Sponsored by Pfizer

External pacing is performed during a cardiac arrest to treat arrythmias, including bradyarrythmias and ventricular standstill.

External pacing is performed during a cardiac arrest to treat arrythmias, including bradyarrythmias and ventricular standstill.

External or non-invasive transcutaneous pacing can be quickly and easily established, making it ideal for patients in cardiac arrest. It requires minimal training and avoids the risks associated with central venous cannulation (Resuscitation Council (UK), 2000).

External pacing is a holding manoeuvre, buying time for the spontaneous recovery of the conduction system of the heart or for a more definitive treatment to be established, for example, transvenous pacing (Jevon, 2002).

Care must be taken to ensure that, when applying the pacing electrodes and attaching the cables, the manufacturer's instructions are followed. This can be uncomfortable, therefore the patient may need to be sedated.

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