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Arch Dis Child. 2007 Oct;92(10):916-21.

Ventricular fibrillation and defibrillation.

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  • 1SMUR Pédiatrique, Réanimation Polyvalente (Paediatric Intensive Care), Hôpital Robert Debré APHP, 48 Boulevard Sérurier, 75935 Paris Cedex 19, France.


Cardiac arrest in children is not often due to a disturbance in rhythm that is amenable to electrical defibrillation, contrary to the situation in adults. When a shockable rhythm is present, defibrillation using an external electric shock applied at an early stage after pre-oxygenation and chest compressions is of proven efficacy. Success at conversion of ventricular fibrillation is dependent on the delay before delivering the shock and defibrillation efficiency, which is itself a function of thoracic impedance, energy dose and waveform.

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