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Ann Emerg Med. 1989 Sep;18(9):920-6.

Dose-dependent vasopressor response to epinephrine during CPR in human beings.

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Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond 23298.


The optimal dose of epinephrine during CPR in human beings is unknown. We studied ten prehospital cardiac arrest patients (six men and four women; mean age, 54 +/- 5 years) to determine the vasopressor response and change in the end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration (PetCO2) after incremental (1-, 3-, and 5-mg) doses of IV epinephrine given five minutes apart during closed-chest CPR. All patients were in ventricular fibrillation on arrival of the paramedics and did not respond to standard advanced cardiac life support. CPR was performed with a computerized Thumper; all patients were intubated and ventilated at 12 times a minute at an FiO2 of 0.8. Radial artery pressure was measured with a 20 angiocath inserted by radial artery cutdown. Paramedic response time was 4.3 +/- 0.5 minutes; elapsed time to emergency department arrival was 40.0 +/- 9.5 minutes. Initial blood gases were paO2, 241 +/- 50 mm Hg; pH, 7.23 +/- 0.08; paCO2, 27 +/- 5 mm Hg; and HCO3, 11 +/- 2 mEq/L. Baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 47 +/- 5 mm Hg and 18 +/- 2 mm Hg, respectively. Systolic blood pressure was directly related to the dose of epinephrine (P less than .0001), rising to 69 +/- 7 mm Hg, 74 +/- 8 mm Hg, and 85 +/- 8 mm Hg after 1-, 3-, and 5-mg doses of epinephrine, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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