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Ann Emerg Med. 1996 Dec;28(6):725-7.

Fatal intracranial bleeding associated with prehospital use of epinephrine.

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Division of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, USA.


We present a case of paramedic misjudgment in the execution of a protocol for the treatment of allergic reaction in a case of pulmonary edema with wheezing. The sudden onset of respiratory distress, rash, and a history of a new medicine led the two paramedics on the scene to administer subcutaneous epinephrine. Subsequently, acute cardiac arrest and fatal subarachnoid hemorrhage occurred. Epinephrine has a proven role in cardiac arrest in prehospital care; however, use by paramedics in patients with suspected allergic reaction and severe hypertension should be viewed with caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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