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Pediatrics. 2013 May;131(5):e1654-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-1607. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Supraventricular tachycardia in the pediatric trauma patient: a case report.

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Departments of aPediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


Any injured patient who is cool and tachycardic is considered to be in shock until proven otherwise.(1) We describe the diagnostic challenge when evaluating persistent tachycardia in the setting of multiple system trauma with hemorrhagic shock. This is a unique case of a 17-year-old patient with the secondary condition of cardiogenic shock due to supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) complicating ongoing hemorrhagic shock from a facial laceration. She had sustained tachycardia despite aggressive resuscitation and required medical cardioversion 30 minutes after arrival to the emergency department. After successful conversion, she maintained normal sinus rhythm for the rest of her hospitalization. During her follow-up cardiac catheterization, she was found to have a left-sided accessory pathway, consistent with atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia. This is a unique and rare case of SVT in the traumatic patient. We review causes of tachycardia in the setting of pediatric multisystem trauma, as well as discuss acute SVT evaluation and management in the pediatric emergency department.


arrhythmia; cardiology; emergency medicine; tachycardia; trauma

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