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Region X Cardiac SOP’s EKG Rhythms and Interventions


Region X Cardiac SOP s EKG Rhythms and Interventions Condell Medical Center EMS System February 2008 Site Code #10-7200E1208 Prepared by: Sharon Hopkins, RN, BSN, EMT-P – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Region X Cardiac SOP’s EKG Rhythms and Interventions

Region X Cardiac SOPs EKG Rhythms and
  • Condell Medical Center
  • EMS System
  • February 2008
  • Site Code 10-7200E1208
  • Prepared by Sharon Hopkins, RN, BSN, EMT-P

  • Upon successful completion of this module, the
    EMS provider should be able to
  • review identification of a variety of EKG rhythms
  • relate the dysrhythmia to the presentation of the
  • comprehend the Region X cardiac SOPs as they
    relate to the patients presentation
  • actively participate in case review
  • successfully complete the quiz with a score of
    80 or greater

Introduction to Use of the SOPs
  • Care is initiated for all patients based on your
  • A pediatric patient is considered under the age
    of 16 (15 and less)
  • Do not delay care to contact Medical control
  • But, prompt communication is encouraged

Cardiac SOPs
  • Obtaining a history and performing an assessment
    can often provide valuable information
  • Consider underlying causes for all situations
  • In the cardiac SOPs, think of the 6 Hs and 5
    Ts as possible causes of the problem as you
    progress through assessment treatment for the

6 Hs
  • Hypovolemia
  • Hypoxia
  • Hydrogen ion - acidosis
  • Hyper/hypokalemia (high/low potassium levels)
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Give fluids (20 ml/kg)
  • Provide supplemental O2
  • Ventilate to blow off retained CO2
  • Difficult to determine in the field consider in
    diabetic ketoacidosis renal dialysis
  • Attempt rewarming
  • Check blood glucose on all altered mental status

5 Ts
  • Toxins (overdose)
  • Tamponade, cardiac
  • Tension pneumothorax
  • Thrombosis, coronary (ACS) or Thrombosis,
    pulmonary (embolism)
  • Trauma
  • Think out of the box
  • Check for JVD, ? B/P
  • Check for JVD, ? B/P, absent/decreased breath
    sounds, difficulty bagging
  • Obtain 12 lead when applicable good history
    taking to lead to suspicions (travel, surgery,
  • What is history of current status?

CPR Guidelines (2005 AHA)
  • If witnessed arrest, CPR until defibrillator
  • If unwitnessed or gt4-5 minutes, CPR for 2 minutes
    then defibrillate if indicated
  • 302 compressions to ventilations for 1 and 2 man
    adult CPR for 2 minute periods
  • 5 cycles of 302 is 2 minutes
  • Once intubated, compressor does not stop
    ventilator bags the patient once every 6-8
    seconds via ETT

AHA 2005 Guidelines
  • After each defibrillation attempt, immediately
    resume CPR
  • Do not look to check the rhythm
  • Do not stop to check for a pulse
  • After 5 cycles (2 minutes), stop CPR (no longer
    than 10 seconds) to reevaluate the rhythm
  • Meds are administered during cycles of CPR

Securing Airway
  • A term used to indicate to secure the airway in
    whatever manner needs to be taken
  • Initially the airway may be secured via BVM
  • Insert oropharyngeal airway if needed
  • The patient can be intubated when time and
    personnel are available and after defibrillation
    has been performed
  • Whatever method is used, limit interruption of
    CPR to a maximum of 10 seconds when possible

  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • There is no electrical activity you observe a
    straight line

There is no pulse, no perfusion, no blood
pressure. Survival from this dysrhythmia
is extremely slim. CPR is initiated in the
absence of a State of Illinois DNR form.
No pulse, no breathing, no B/P! Youve got a dead
patient or a lead popped off
Asystole and Defibrillation
  • The goal in defibrillation is trying to allow the
    dominant pacemaker (preferably the SA node) to
    take over pacemaker duties
  • When you defibrillate a patient, you place them
    into asystole
  • So, the patient in asystole does not need
    defibrillation (theyre already there!)
  • The patient in PEA has electrical activity and
    defibrillation would interfere with the one thing
    that is working for them!

  • A clinical situation in which there is organized
    electrical activity (other than VT) viewed on the
    monitor but there is no palpable pulse no
  • In the absence of a palpable pulse, the patient
    needs high quality CPR
  • Focus on the causes (6 Hs and 5 Ts) as you
    perform CPR and administer medications

PEA lt60 bpm
When the underlying rate is under 60 bpm,
Atropine is indicated. Remember when theyre
done, give them one For asystole and slow PEA
lt60 give 1 mg Atropine IVP/IO
PEA gt60 bpm
If the patient has no pulse, this is PEA Knowing
the overall rate helps to determine if atropine
is given or not Atropine not indicated if heart
rate on monitor is gt60
SOP for Asystole/PEA
  • Begin CPR
  • Secure airway with minimal interruptions
  • Search for and treat causes (6 Hs, 5 Ts)
  • Establish IV/IO
  • Meds
  • Epinephrine 110,000 1 mg IVP/IO every 3-5
    minutes alternated with Atropine if indicated
  • Asystole slow PEA Atropine 1 mg IVP/IO every
    3-5 minutes to maximum total dose 3mg

Medications - Epinephrine
  • Stimulates vasoconstriction
  • Supports improved blood flow to the heart and
  • Can place a strain on the heart (this is
    adrenaline!) by ? heart rate and ? strength of
    contractility (more blood squeezed out)
  • Relatively short half-life so needs to be
    repeated frequently (every 3-5 minutes)
  • There is no maximum

Medications - Atropine
  • Blocks effects of the parasympathetic nervous
    system that may be exerting a negative influence
    (decreasing heart rate)
  • Increases rate of discharge of impulses at the SA
  • Decreases the amount of block at the AV node
    (lets more impulses travel through to the
  • Attempts to increase the heart rate

Atropine in Asystole PEA
  • Asystole
  • When theyre done, give them one
  • 1 mg every 3-5 minutes
  • Max total dose is 3 mg
  • PEA
  • Only given if the rate is lt 60
  • If rate gt60 then you dont need the effects of
    Atropine to speed up the heart rate!
  • When theyre done, give them one
  • 1 mg every 3-5 minutes, max total 3 mg

Bradycardia and Heart Blocks
  • When the heart rate falls, the cardiac output is
  • The patient becomes symptomatic when the cardiac
    output cannot keep up with the demands of the
  • Determine if the patient is symptomatic or not
    before administering treatment
  • check level of consciousness
  • check blood pressure

Sinus Bradycardia
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Regular P to P and regular R to R
  • Less than 60 bpm
  • Positive, upright, rounded, look similar to each
  • 0.12-0.20 seconds and constant
  • lt0.12 seconds

Sinus Bradycardia
Treatment indicated if the patient is
symptomatic EMS needs to provide a thorough
assessment to make an accurate clinical decision
Second Degree Type I - Wenckebach
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Atria are regular, ventricular rhythm is
  • Atrial rate greater than ventricular rate
  • Normal in shape not all followed by QRS
  • PR gets progressively longer until dropped QRS
  • Normally lt0.12 seconds

Second Degree Type I - Wenckebach
Note characteristics of irregular rhythm, grouped
beating, lengthening PR intervals, periodically
dropped QRS. The P to P interval is regular and
measures out in all blocks! Type I drops one
Wenckebach winks at you
Second Degree Type II - Classical
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Atria regular, ventricular rhythm can be regular
    or not
  • Atrial rate greater than ventricular rate which
    is slow
  • Normal more Ps than QRSs
  • Usually normal, constant for the conducted beats
  • Usually lt0.12 sec periodically absent after P

Second degree Type II - Classical
This rhythm can have a variable block or can have
a set pattern (ie 21 31, etc). The slower the
heart rate, the more symptomatic the patient.
Treatment with Atropine versus TCP based on
width of QRS. Think Type II is 21 (but know
block can be 31,etc)
3rd Degree - Complete
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Atria regular, ventricular rhythm regular but
    independent of each other
  • Atrial rate greater than ventricular ventricular
    rate determined by origin of escape rhythm (can
    be slow or normal)
  • Normal in shape size
  • None (no pattern)
  • Narrow or wide depending on origin of escape

3rd degree - Complete
The patients symptoms are based on the
ventricular heart rate - the slower the heart
rate the more symptomatic the patient will be.
Again, P to P marches right through. Treatment
with TCP versus Atropine based on width of QRS
Patient Assessment in Bradycardia
  • The patients symptoms will depend on the
    ventricular rate which influences the cardiac
  • Most reliable is to check the patients level of
    consciousness and blood pressure to help
    determine stability
  • If interventions are necessary, the goal will be
    to improve the heart rate to improve the cardiac

SOP for Stable Bradycardia
  • Patient alert
  • Skin is warm and dry
  • Systolic B/P gt 100 mmHg
  • Transport with no further intervention

SOP for Unstable Bradycardia
  • Altered mental status
  • Systolic B/P lt 100 mm Hg
  • Bradycardia or Type I second degree heart block
  • Includes all narrow QRS complex bradycardias
  • Goal to speed up the heart rate
  • Atropine 0.5 mg rapid IVP
  • May be repeated every 3-5 minutes
  • Max Atropine is 3 mg
  • When theyre alive, give 0.5

Transcutaneous Pacemaker (TCP)
  • TCP when Atropine is ineffective
  • Narrow QRS bradycardia not responding to dose(s)
    of Atropine
  • Wide QRS bradycardia where Atropine is not
    expected to be effective, TCP is tried first
  • TCP sends electrical charges thru the skin
  • TCP is uncomfortable
  • Valium 2 mg slow IVP over 2 minutes
  • May repeat Valium 2 mg slow IVP every 2 minutes
    to max of 10 mg for comfort

TCP and Patient Assessment
  • Increase mA from lowest output setting until
    consistent capture noted on the monitor
  • Document settings (rate, mA) on the patient care
    run report
  • In the demand mode, if Atropine was administered
    and now kicks in, the patients own rate may
    exceed the pacemaker and put the pacemaker in
    stand-by (function of the demand mode!)

TCP with Capture - Paced Rhythm
Observed is one to one capture. Consider sedation
with Valium to make the patient more comfortable.
SOP for Wide QRS Bradycardia
  • Typically refers to Type II second degree heart
    block and 3rd degree (complete)
  • Atropine is not effective in wide QRS complex
    bradycardia (origin most likely below bundle of
    His if QRS is wide)
  • Begin TCP as soon as possible
  • If TCP not effective, can give Atropine 0.5 mg
    rapid IVP and repeat every 3-5 minutes to a max
    of 3 mg

Tachycardia and 2 Questions to Ask
During Assessment
  • 1 - Is the patient stable or unstable?
  • What is the level of consciousness?
  • What is the blood pressure?
  • If patient is unstable, needs emergent
  • If patient is stable, get to question 2
  • 2 - Is the QRS narrow or wide?
  • If narrow QRS think SVT
  • If wide QRS think VT until proven otherwise

Dangers of Tachycardia
  • With a rapid heart beat, the heart performs
  • There is not enough filling time for the
  • Blood flow and B/P drop
  • With a rapid heart beat, the work load/demand
    increases on the heart
  • Increased requirement for more oxygen with
    reduced blood flow to myocardium increases risk
    of ischemia and potential MI

Tachycardia and the Patient
  • Signs and symptoms often depend on
  • Ventricular rate
  • The faster the rate, the less filling time for
    the heart, the more symptomatic the patient is
  • How long the tachycardia lasts
  • The longer the tachycardia, the less reserve
    there is left and the more symptomatic the
    patient tends to be
  • General health and presence of underlying heart

Supraventricular Tachycardia - Narrow QRS
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Usually very regular
  • 150 - 200 bpm
  • None visible
  • Not measured if P waves seen, PR interval often
  • Usually lt0.12 seconds unless abnormal conduction

SVT is a term used to describe a category of
rapid rhythms that cannot be further defined
because of indistinguishable P waves.
Supraventricular Tachycardia - SVT
This SVT is most likely atrial tachycardia due to
shortened PR interval (abnormal PR interval).
The heart rate (180) is too fast for sinus
tachycardia. The QRS is definitely narrow!
SOP for SVT (Narrow QRS)
  • Stable patient (alert, warm dry, B/P gt100
  • Valsalva maneuver
  • Have patient hold breath and bear down for 10
    seconds (or try to blow up a balloon or blow
    through a straw)
  • Patient at home may have tried to make self gag
  • Adenosine 6 mg rapid IVP
  • Followed immediately by rapid flush of 20 ml NS
  • If no response in 2 minutes, repeat Adenosine at
    12 mg rapid IVP again with 20 ml flush

Adenosine for SVT
  • Antiarrhythmic
  • Decreases heart rate at SA node
  • Slows conduction thru AV node
  • Does not convert atrial fibrillation, atrial
    flutter or VT
  • Short half life (10 seconds) so start IV in AC
    area (preferably right), must be given rapidly
    followed immediately with saline flush

Adenosine Back-up
  • Diltiazem/cardizem -slows heart rate
  • If still in stock, can give 0.25 mg/kg IVP slowly
    over 2 minutes
  • Watch for drop in blood pressure
  • Verapamil/isoptin - slows heart rate
  • 5 mg IVP slowly over 2 minutes
  • Watch for drop in blood pressure
  • If necessary, can repeat 5 mg slow IVP in 15
    minutes if B/P gt 100 mmHg
  • Administer fluid challenge if pt hypotensive

  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Slows conduction thru SA and AV nodes
  • Slows ventricular rate for rapid atrial fib or
    rapid atrial flutter
  • Do not use in wide QRS rhythms or in WPW
  • Give slowly to minimize side effects
  • Watch for drop in B/P
  • Onset in 3 minutes
  • As home med, treatment of chronic angina

  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Slows conduction thru AV node
  • Controls ventricular rate in rapid atrial fib or
    rapid atrial flutter
  • Do not use with wide QRS or history of WPW
  • 1st dose is 5 mg slow IVP
  • Repeat dose in 15 minutes is 5 mg slow IVP
  • Watch for hypotension
  • As home med used for hypertension, angina

Ventricular Tachycardia - VT - This is NOT a
narrow QRS!
Wide QRS tachycardia is ventricular
tachycardia until proven otherwise. Always treat
the patient for the worst case scenario first
Atrial flutter
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Atria regular ventricular rhythm can be regular
    or irregular
  • Atrial rate 250, ventricular rate variable
  • No identifiable P waves saw tooth or picket
    fence pattern noted
  • Not measurable
  • lt0.12 seconds unless abnormal conduction

Atrial Flutter
Note key characteristics of the flutter waves or
the saw toothed appearance also called the
picket fence
Atrial Fibrillation
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Irregularly irregular
  • Atrial rate 400-600 ventricular rate variable
  • No identifiable P waves
  • None measured
  • 0.12 seconds or less unless abnormal conduction

Atrial Fibrillation
Rhythm is irregularly irregular. Check for
medication history of blood thinner (ie
coumadin)and digoxin (strengthens cardiac
contractions). When obtaining pulse, some
impulses stronger than others.
SOP for Atrial Fib/flutter
  • If patient stable, need to slow accelerated
    ventricular rate
  • Diltiazem/cardizem 0.25 mg/kg IVP slowly over 2
  • In absence of Diltiazem, use Verapamil
  • Verapamil 5 mg slow IVP over 2 minutes
  • If needed, may repeat Verapamil in 15 minutes if
    B/P remains gt100 mmHg
  • (Caution both meds can cause ? in B/P)

Ventricular Fibrillation
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • No discernible wave forms to be identified or
  • Course Vfib stands up taller from the baseline
    and is thought to be more receptive to
  • Fine Vfib is flatter and less likely to
    respond to defibrillation

Ventricular Fibrillation - VF
There is no pulse, no breathing, no B/P. This
patient is dead and needs immediate CPR and
Pulseless VT
  • This is not PEA!
  • PEA does not receive defibrillation
  • Pulseless VT is treated just like VF and requires
    appropriate defibrillation attempts
  • If pulseless VT deteriorates to VF, continue with
    the same SOP

SOP for VF/Pulseless VT
  • Begin CPR
  • If witnessed, defibrillate ASAP
  • If unwitnessed, CPR for 5 cycles/2 minutes
  • Secure airway
  • Defib 360 j or equivalent biphasic
  • Resume CPR immediately 5 cycles/2 minutes
  • Establish IV/IO
  • Intubate
  • Defib 360 j or equivalent biphasic

SOP for VF/Pulseless VT contd
  • Persistent VF needs meds added
  • Add meds during episodes of CPR
  • After every 2 minutes of CPR, stop for a maximum
    of 10 seconds to check rhythm and then proceed
  • Epinephrine 110,000 1 mg IVP/IO
  • Repeat every 3-5 minutes for duration of arrest
  • After 2 minutes, check rhythm
  • Persistent VF/pulseless VT ? defibrillate

SOP for VF/Pulseless VT contd
  • Antidysrhythmics
  • Choose one Amiodarone or Lidocaine
  • Do not mix use of these drugs - heart becomes
    more irritable
  • After a repeat dose of antidysrhythmic, need
    medical control orders for more
  • Amiodarone 1st dose 300 mg IVP/IO
  • Can repeat in 5 minutes at 150 mg IVP/IO
  • Lidocaine 1.5 mg/kg IVP/IO
  • Can repeat in 5 minutes at 0.75 mg/kg IVP

SOP for VF/Pulseless VT contd
  • Continue 2 minutes of CPR
  • Stop CPR to check rhythm (lt 10 seconds)
  • Continue defibrillation attempts immediately
    resuming CPR after defib
  • Alternate Epinephrine with the antidysrhythmic
    chosen (ie Amiodarone or Lidocaine)
  • Consider treat causes (6Hs and 5 Ts) as you
    are progressing through treatment

Ventricular Tachycardia with Pulse
  • Regularity
  • Rate
  • P waves
  • PR interval
  • QRS complex
  • Essentially regular
  • Generally over 100 bpm
  • Generally absent occasionally may be visible but
    have no relationship with the QRS
  • None measurable
  • gt0.12 seconds often difficult to distinguish
    between the QRS and T wave

Ventricular Tachycardia - VT
Regular rhythm with wide QRS complex. You can
basically stack the complexes one on top of the
other - they will fit like stacking blocks
SOP for VT with Pulse
  • This is a tachycardia
  • Determine the answer to 2 questions
  • 1 - Is the patient stable?
  • Stable patients treated conservatively (meds)
  • Unstable patients need immediate cardioversion
  • 2 - If the patient is stable, then you get to
    this next question - 2 -Is the QRS narrow or
  • Narrow QRS - consider Adenosine
  • Wide QRS - consider antidysrhythmic

SOP for Stable VT with Pulse
  • Antidysrhythmics
  • Amiodarone 150 mg diluted in 100 ml D5W IVPB over
    10 minutes
  • OR
  • Lidocaine 0.75 mg/kg IVP
  • Contact Medical Control for further orders
  • after the initial bolus

Amiodarone IVPB
  • Draw up Amiodarone 150 ml (3ml)
  • Add to a 100 ml bag D5W and gently agitate to mix
  • Label the IV bag
  • Prime the minidrip tubing plug into the main IV
    line as close to the patient as possible
  • To infuse over 10 minutes, the minidrip tubing
    needs to drip at a rate just below wide open
    slow down or stop if B/P drops

SOP for Unstable VT
  • Sedate the conscious patient with Versed 2 mg IVP
    over 2 minutes
  • Repeat Versed 1mg as needed to sedate up to 10 mg
  • Synchronize cardiovert at 100 joules
  • If needed, synchronize cardiovert at 200 j
  • If needed, synchronize cardiovert at 300 j
  • If needed, synchronize cardiovert at 360 j

SOP for Unstable VT contd
  • If VT recurs, synchronize cardiovert at energy
    level that was previously successful
  • If VT recurs, then begin antidysrhythmic bolus
  • Amiodarone 150 mg diluted in 100 ml D5W IVPB run
    over 10 minutes
  • OR
  • Lidocaine 0.75mg/kg IVP
  • Contact Medical Control for further orders

Case Presentations
  • Determine an initial impression
  • Interpret the rhythm
  • Based on your patient assessment and
    interpretation of data gathered, determine the
    appropriate intervention
  • Discuss the steps in the appropriate SOP and
    understand why the intervention is necessary

Case 1
  • 72 year old female presents with feeling
    lightheaded, weak and dizzy for one week getting
    progressively worse especially today
  • Assessment
  • Skin pale, slightly moist responsive to
    questions lungs with slight rales in bases
  • VS 89/40 P-36 R-28 SaO2 96
  • Meds Plavix, lisinopril, Coreg
  • No allergies
  • Hx ? B/P, CVA (no residual effects), angina

Whats your impression intervention?
  • IV, O2, monitor, pulse ox
  • Consider 12 lead EKG
  • EKG 3rd degree/complete heart block
  • Goal of therapy increase heart rate
  • Intervention Bradycardia SOP
  • QRS narrow so start with Atropine 0.5 mg IVP
  • Prepare to attach TCP in case atropine not

Case 2
  • You were called to the scene for a 66 year old
    patient with complaints of chest pain, chest
    pounding, and a feeling like they were going to
    pass out.
  • You had just initiated IV-O2-monitor
  • You got a 3 second glance at the monitor when the
    patient grabbed their chest, their head fell
    back, and they became unresponsive

Case 2
  • What are these rhythms?
  • What action needs to be taken?
  • Which SOP do you follow?

Case 2
  • The patient was initially NSR and changed to VT
    and then quickly deteriorated to VF
  • This was a witnessed arrest - VF SOP
  • Begin CPR (302) until the defibrillator is
    charged and ready
  • After each defibrillation, immediately begin CPR
    for 2 minutes (5 cycles)
  • As the IV was already started, begin the
    Epinephrine after the 1st shock

Case 3
  • A car drove past your station and dropped off a
  • Your patient is a 25 year old male with multiple
    bruising about the chest and abdomen who is
    apneic and pulseless
  • There are no witnesses and no history can be
    obtained there is evidence of trauma
  • What is the rhythm?
  • What is your impression?

Case 3
  • The rhythm is PEA
  • Important to note the rate (determines if
    Atropine is given or not)
  • This patient needs CPR, no defibrillation
  • Consider the causes (6 Hs and 5 Ts) as you are
    performing your interventions for PEA

Case 3
  • Medications
  • Epinephrine 110,000 1 mg IVP/IO every 3-5
    minutes for duration of the arrest
  • No Atropine - the heart rate is gt 60 bpm
  • Shift to thinking most likely causes in this
    young patient with evidence of trauma
  • Hypovolemia - fluid bolus 200 ml at a time
  • Hypoxia acidosis-ventilate with supplemental O2
  • Tension pneumothorax - check breath sounds
  • Tamponade - rapid transport

Case 3
  • To consider
  • Is this a traumatic arrest?
  • If you answer yes, then consider bilateral chest
    decompression with evidence of chest trauma
  • Transport is to the highest level trauma center
    within 25 minutes
  • After every 5 cycles (2 minutes) of CPR, stop for
    10 seconds to evaluate the EKG rhythm
  • If patient remains in PEA, continue Epinephrine
    every 3-5 minutes add Atropine only if the rate
    falls below 60 bpm
  • rhythm checks are performed when observing a
    rhythm that might generate a pulse

Case 4
  • Your patient is a 72 year old female who has
    called you due to feeling short of breath and has
    a pounding in her chest after shoveling snow.
  • What is the rhythm?
  • What is your general impression?
  • What SOP will be followed and what interventions
    are necessary?

Case 4
  • Upon 1st contact with your patients, get into the
    habit of feeling for a pulse while introducing
  • Is the pulse slow, normal, or fast?
  • Is the pulse regular or irregular?
  • This first pulse can give you an idea of how
    critical the situation might be and a clue to
    what you might find once the monitor is hooked up

Case 4
  • Rhythm has a narrow complex, no visible P waves,
    rate over 150 - SVT
  • 1st question - is the patient stable?
  • This patient is responding to your questions
  • VS 102/58 P-140 R-22 SaO2 97
  • Yes, the patient is stable
  • 2nd question - is the QRS narrow or wide?
  • QRS is narrow so treat as SVT
  • Start with valsalva maneuvers then meds

Case 4 - What is unique about giving Adenosine?
  • Start the IV in the AC, preferably right
  • Give the drug as a quick flush immediately
    followed by a 20 ml saline flush
  • After 2 minutes and reassessment of the patient
    (B/P, rhythm check), if the 1st dose (6mg) was
    not effective, repeat Adenosine with 12 mg again
    as a rapid IVP immediately followed with a 20 ml
    saline flush
  • Transient side effects to warn the patient about
    include chest tightness, shortness of breath, and
    a flushed hot feeling

Case 5
  • You are called to a patient who is passing out
    but is still breathing.
  • Upon arrival, you have a 65 year-old male who is
    supine, breathing, looks pale, is diaphoretic,
    and responds to pain.
  • They have a carotid pulse but a very faint radial
    pulse if at all
  • VS 88/52 P - 190 R - 12 SaO2 94
  • What is the rhythm and your impression?

Case 5
  • The rhythm is VT (wide QRS until proven
  • The patient is unstable
  • Responds only to pain, ? respirations, poor skin
    parameters, possibly non-palpable radial pulse,
    B/P lt100
  • Treatment goal is to convert this lethal rhythm
    and restore perfusion as soon as possible

Case 5
  • Immediate synchronized cardioversion needed
  • If possible, sedate the patient
  • Cardioversion is a painful procedure
  • Versed 2 mg IVP over 2 minutes
  • Can repeat Versed 1 mg as needed to sedate to a
    max of 10 mg
  • Appropriate pads or conductive material is
    applied - no air bubbles under the pads
  • Practice safety - look around and call out all
    clear have BVM reached out in case of need from
    sedation with Versed

Case 5
  • Successive cardioversion energy levels
  • 100 joules
  • If unsuccessful, 200 joules
  • If unsuccessful, 300 joules
  • If unsuccessful, 360 joules
  • If cardioversion is successful and VT recurs,
    cardiovert at previously successful level
  • If VT recurs, then begin bolus of antidysrhythmic
    of your choice (Amiodarone 300mg or Lidocaine

Case 6
  • Your 58 year-old fell and has a deformed wrist.
  • Upon assessment EMS notes an irregular pulse.
  • The patient meds include insulin, a B/P med,
    multiple vitamins
  • What points are important to include during your

Case 6
  • What is the rhythm?
  • Second degree Type I - Wenckebach
  • The overall heart rate runs low but patients are
    generally not symptomatic due to the heart rate
  • What is important to know during this assessment?
  • Why did the patient fall?
  • If the patient tripped (he did), this is a trauma
  • This patient has no problem related to his
    diabetes so a blood sugar level is not indicated

Case 7
  • You were called to the scene of a 48 year-old
    patient with chest pain for 1 hour.
  • VS 110/72 P - 78 R - 18 SaO2 99
  • Monitor was NSR
  • You had the patient begin chewing Aspirin, you
    had administered a nitroglycerin tablet after
    establishing an IV and have just completed
    sending a 12 lead EKG.
  • The patient suddenly becomes unresponsive

Case 7
  • Now what!!!???
  • You have confirmed the patient is apneic and
  • Begin CPR (witnessed arrest) until defibrillator
  • Call and look all clear, defibrillate at 360 j
    or highest biphasic setting

Case 7
  • After 2 minutes of immediate CPR following the
    defibrillation, you stop CPR and check the rhythm
  • Rhythm looks like NSR, now you can check for a
    pulse - there is a pulse!!!
  • Stop CPR, reassess vital signs
  • B/P is rising from 0/0, P - 80, respirations
    being assisted by BVM (about 4 -6/minute)

Case 7
  • Any other medications to be given?
  • This patient will not receive Epinephrine -
    doesnt need it now
  • As no antidysrhythmic was administered to the
    patient, EMS must call Medical Control for orders
  • If the B/P does not come up, consider a Dopamine
    drip and fluid bolus
  • Continue to support and monitor patients
    ventilation status

References On-Line Review
  • Aehlert, B. ECGs Made Easy. 3rd Edition.
  • Mosby. 2006.
  • Region X SOP Effective March 1, 2007
  • Walraven, G. Basic Arrhythmias. 6th
  • Edition. Brady. 2006.
  • rhythms.html