Changing the management of refractory ventricular fibrillation: The consideration of earlier utilization of dual sequential defibrillation.

Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Dual Sequential Defibrillation (DSD) has shown promise in the management of refractory ventricular fibrillation (RVF). In the recent past, there have been a number of reports on the topic with varying results. Some studies have concluded that DSD provides no benefit over standard defibrillation therapy of RVF in terms of survival and neurological outcome. In fact, termination of RVF and achieving return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) are achieved quite frequently in patients with DSD. Unfortunately, DSD has been utilized very late in the course of resuscitation, likely masking a great deal of its potential benefit. Interventions at this later phase of resuscitation are much less likely to produce a beneficial outcome, regardless of their ability to impact the course of events. It is suggested that earlier use of DSD can potentially improve ROSC, ultimate survival, and neurological outcome. After a review of the existing literature on the topic, we will propose that DSD be considered for use at a much earlier time in the resuscitation of patients with RVF. In addition to the consideration of its use in resuscitation, clinicians and device manufacturers must also address the impact on the two defibrillation devices employed in DSD due to the potential for damage and resultant defibrillator dysfunction.

Keywords

Defibrillation,Dual sequential defibrillation,Refractory,Ventricular fibrillation,

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