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Resuscitation. 2008 May;77(2):264-9. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2007.12.015. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Feasibility of correlating the pulse check with focused point-of-care echocardiography during pediatric cardiac arrest: a case series.

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Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, Bellevue Hospital Center/NYU School of Medicine, Emergency Care Institute, New York, NY 10016, United States.


Rapidly determining whether an unresponsive child is in cardiac arrest or in shock, and requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be problematic. The pulse check in children has been shown to be unreliable, not only for laypersons, but also for healthcare providers. The recommendation for checking the pulse in unresponsive children has been eliminated for laypersons in the latest edition of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines. Thus the decision to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation in children, with the goal of delivering effective chest compressions, can be fraught with uncertainty. Despite the use of pediatric advanced life support guidelines developed by the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, management and decision making during resuscitation of children in cardiac arrest can be challenging. Outcomes for out-of-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest remain poor. The decision to end resuscitation in children, often an emotionally charged situation, can also be particularly difficult for physicians. Information from focused point-of-care echocardiography that allows for correlation with the presence or absence of a pulse and real time assessment of resuscitation may help direct and optimize the delivery of resuscitative interventions. We report our preliminary clinical observations of using focused point-of-care echocardiography to correlate with the pulse check during resuscitation in a series of pediatric cardiac arrests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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