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Defibrillation in children

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Author(s): Haskell Sarah | Atkins Dianne

Journal: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
ISSN 0974-2700

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 261;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Defibrillation | pediatrics | ventricular fibrillation

ABSTRACT
Defibrillation is the only effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation (VF). Optimal methods for defibrillation in children are derived and extrapolated from adult data. VF occurs as the initial rhythm in 8-20% of pediatric cardiac arrests. This has fostered a new interest in determining the optimal technique for pediatric defibrillation. This review will provide a brief background of the history of defibrillation and a review of the current literature on pediatric defibrillation. The literature search was performed through PubMed, using the MeSH headings of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation and electric countershock. The authors′ personal bibliographic files were also searched. Only published articles were chosen. The recommended energy dose has been 2 J/kg for 30 years, but recent reports may indicate that higher dosages may be more effective and safe. In 2005, the European Resuscitation Council recommended 4 J/kg as the initial dose, without escalation for subsequent shocks. Automated external defibrillators are increasingly used for pediatric cardiac arrest, and available reports indicate high success rates. Additional research on pediatric defibrillation is critical in order to be able to provide an equivalent standard of care for children in cardiac arrest and improve outcomes.
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