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Physiol Meas. 2004 Oct;25(5):1179-88.

Defibrillation shock success estimation by a set of six parameters derived from the electrocardiogram.

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Centre of Biomedical Engineering, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria.


It is well known that in some cases defibrillator shocks cannot terminate ventricular fibrillation (VF). Repeated failed shocks often may worsen subsequent response to therapy. This study assesses the ability of six parameters derived from the surface electrocardiogram (ECG) to predict defibrillation shock outcome. Using stepwise discriminant analysis, we obtained several discriminant functions, yielding different combinations of sensitivity and specificity for detection of pre-shock ECG segments corresponding to successful versus unsuccessful shocks. The study was performed consecutively for 3, 4 and 5 s ECG time intervals. The prediction accuracy of 72.3% (61.8% sensitivity and 79.6% specificity) with five parameters and 3 s VF segment analysis prior to defibrillation shock could be considered acceptable for possible practical application in automatic external defibrillators.

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