Should Percussion Pacing Have a Role in Perioperative Advanced Cardiac Life Support?: A Case Report

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Abstract

Percussion pacing involves using one’s fist to repeatedly strike a patient’s left sternal border in a rhythmic manner. The resulting increase in ventricular pressure can trigger myocardial depolarization and subsequent contraction. We describe the successful treatment of acute preoperative symptomatic sinus bradycardia with percussion pacing in a 63-year-old patient scheduled for placement of a gastric feeding tube after trauma involving spinal cord injury. Although no longer included in current advanced cardiovascular life support guidelines, percussion pacing may be a suitable alternative to chest compressions in multitrauma cases where the force of compressions could cause further complications.

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