The controversial role of dual sequential defibrillation in shockable cardiac arrest

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Abstract

Background

In the United States, over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital and 209,000 occur in the hospital. Shockable rhythms such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) have a survival rate of 20–30% outside of the hospital setting. Dual Sequential Defibrillation (DSD) has demonstrated success in terminating VF that is refractory to multiple attempts using a single defibrillator.

Methods

The PubMed, and MEDLINE databases were reviewed in February of 2018 and literature reviewed on dual sequential defibrillation. The terms “dual”, “sequential”, “double sequential”, and “defibrillation” were added in the search builder. This search was limited to English-language articles. The results and their references were assessed for relevance to the topic and implications for dual sequential defibrillation in shockable cardiac arrest.

Result

Included search terms yielded 23 articles. Studies occurred in the emergency department and prehospital setting. There are two retrospective cohort studies and the majority of published studies are case reports/series. Sample size per study varied from 1 to 279 encounters.

Conclusion

Studies have shown success in using DSD to treat refractory VF. However, further studies are necessary to assess the efficacy and safety of DSD compared to the standard of care treating refractory VF.

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