External Defibrillator Damage Associated With Attempted Synchronized Dual-Dose Cardioversion

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Abstract

The simultaneous use of 2 external defibrillators to administer either dual or sequential cardioversion or defibrillation for refractory cardiac arrhythmias is increasing in both the out-of-hospital and inhospital settings. Using 2 defibrillators to administer higher energy levels than can be achieved with a single defibrillator is considered off-label and is currently not part of published advanced cardiac life support guidelines. We report the first case in which the use of dual-dose cardioversion was associated with external defibrillator damage. Because defibrillator damage, especially if undetected, jeopardizes patient safety and off-label medical product use may void the manufacturer’s warranty, this case should urge users to proceed with caution when contemplating this technique.

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