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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1987 Nov;10(6):1262-70.

Noninvasive transcutaneous cardiac pacing in children.

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Division of Cardiology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Noninvasive transcutaneous cardiac pacing is an emergency pacing modality with proven benefits for adult patients. During induction of anesthesia for heart surgery, we externally paced 22 children (aged 0.9-17.9 years and weighing 6.96 to 51 kg) using a commercially available device to pace approximately 10 beats per minute faster than the spontaneous heart rate. Three pacing electrode sizes were used (the standard adult size and two specially manufactured smaller sizes). A total of 56 pacing trials were conducted, 53 of which were successful in obtaining capture. A mean output of 63 +/- 14 mA (range, 42-98) at threshold using the large electrodes was comparable to published adult requirements. Lower current outputs were needed with the medium (53 +/- 12 mA; range, 36-92) and small electrodes (51 +/- 11 mA; range, 29-82). In any given patient, the large electrodes required more current (p less than 0.01) to obtain capture, but delivered less current density (p less than 0.01) and exhibited less impedance (p less than 0.01) than the smaller electrodes. The mean threshold energy requirement was 0.12 +/- 0.01 joules/beat regardless of pad size. Output, current density, impedance and energy requirements did not vary with age, weight or chest size. No complications of external pacing were noted. We conclude that noninvasive transcutaneous pacing can be used safely and effectively in children, and that chest size might necessitate the use of smaller electrodes in children weighing less than 15 kilograms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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