DOI: 10.3390/jpm14030293 ISSN: 2075-4426

Cardiac Arrest and Complete Heart Block: Complications after Electrical Cardioversion for Unstable Supraventricular Tachycardia in the Emergency Department

Adina Maria Marza, Claudiu Barsac, Dumitru Sutoi, Alexandru Cristian Cindrea, Alexandra Herlo, Cosmin Iosif Trebuian, Alina Petrica
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Synchronous electrical cardioversion is a relatively common procedure in the emergency department (ED), often performed for unstable supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or unstable ventricular tachycardia (VT). However, it is also used for stable cases resistant to drug therapy, which carries a risk of deterioration. In addition to the inherent risks linked with procedural sedation, there is a possibility of malignant arrhythmias or bradycardia, which could potentially result in cardiac arrest following this procedure. Here, we present a case of complete heart block unresponsive to transcutaneous pacing and positive inotropic and chronotropic drugs for 90 min, resulting in multiple cardiac arrests. The repositioning of the transcutaneous cardio-stimulation electrodes, one of them placed in the left latero-sternal position and the other at the level of the apex, led to immediate stabilization of the patient. The extubation of the patient was performed the following day, with full recovery and discharge within 7 days after the insertion of a permanent pacemaker.

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