Attenuating the defibrillation dosage decreases postresuscitation myocardial dysfunction in a swine model of pediatric ventricular fibrillation

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Objective:The optimal biphasic defibrillation dose for children is unknown. Postresuscitation myocardial dysfunction is common and may be worsened by higher defibrillation doses. Adult-dose automated external defibrillators are commonly available; pediatric doses can be delivered by attenuating the adult defibrillation dose through a pediatric pads/cable system. The objective was to investigate whether unattenuated (adult) dose biphasic defibrillation results in greater postresuscitation myocardial dysfunction and damage than attenuated (pediatric) defibrillation.Design:Laboratory animal experiment.Setting:University animal laboratory.Subjects:Domestic swine weighing 19 ± 3.6 kg.Interventions:Fifty-two piglets were randomized to receive biphasic defibrillation using either adult-dose shocks of 200, 300, and 360 J or pediatric-dose shocks of ∼50, 75, and 85 J after 7 mins of untreated ventricular fibrillation. Contrast left ventriculograms were obtained at baseline and then at 1, 2, 3, and 4 hrs postresuscitation. Postresuscitation left ventricular ejection fraction and cardiac troponins were evaluated.Measurements and Main Results:By design, piglets in the adult-dose group received shocks with more energy (261 ± 65 J vs. 72 ± 12 J, p < .001) and higher peak current (37 ± 8 A vs. 13 ± 2 A, p < .001) at the largest defibrillation dose needed. In both groups, left ventricular ejection fraction was reduced significantly at 1, 2, and 4 hrs from baseline and improved during the 4 hrs postresuscitation. The decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction from baseline was greater after adult-dose defibrillation. Plasma cardiac troponin levels were elevated 4 hrs postresuscitation in 11 of 19 adult-dose piglets vs. four of 20 pediatric-dose piglets (p = .02).Conclusions:Unattenuated adult-dose defibrillation results in a greater frequency of myocardial damage and worse postresuscitation myocardial function than pediatric doses in a swine model of prolonged out-of-hospital pediatric ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest. These data support the use of pediatric attenuating electrodes with adult biphasic automated external defibrillators to defibrillate children.

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