Shockable rhythms and defibrillation during in-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest

Antonio Rodríguez-Núñez, Jesús López-Herce, Jimena Del Castillo, José María Bellón, Javier Urbano, Angel Carrillo, Martha Matamoros, Roger Rodriguez, Allison Callejas, Douglas Carranza, Sonia Cañadas, Pedro Dominguez, Ana Rodriguez Calvo, Lorenzo Marcos, Corrado Cechetti, Marta Silva, Regina Grigolli Cesar, Javier Pilar Orive, Ana María Nieva, Marta ParadaMaría Angeles García Teresa, Di Prietro Pasquale, Miguel Angel Delgado, Mauricio Fernández, Roxana Flavia Jaén, Juan Garbayo Solana, Raúl Borrego Domínguez, Víctor Monreal, Cristina Molinos, Custodio Calvo, Asunción Pino, Iolster Thomas, Ricardo Iramaín, Juan Carlos De Carlos, Corsino Rey Galán, Olivia Pérez Quevedo, Adriana Koliski, Santiago Campos, Alfredo Reparaz, Sivia Sánchez Pérez, Deolinda Matos, Claudia Carolina, Lourdes Marroquín Yañez, Antonio De Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To analyze the results of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that included defibrillation during in-hospital cardiac arrest (IH-CA) in children. Methods: A prospective multicenter, international, observational study on pediatric IH-CA in 12 European and Latin American countries, during 24 months. Data from 502 children between 1 month and 18 years were collected using the Utstein template. Patients with a shockable rhythm that was treated by electric shock(s) were included. The primary endpoint was survival at hospital discharge. Univariate logistic regression analysis was performed to find outcome factors. Results: Forty events in 37 children (mean age 48 months, IQR: 7-15 months) were analyzed. An underlying disease was present in 81.1% of cases and 24.3% had a previous CA. The main cause of arrest was a cardiac disease (56.8%). In 17 episodes (42.5%) ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (pVT) was the first documented rhythm, and in 23 (57.5%) it developed during CPR efforts. In 11 patients (27.5%) three or more shocks were needed to achieve defibrillation. Return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was obtained in 25 cases (62.5%), that was sustained in 20 (50.0%); however only 12 children (32.4%) survived to hospital discharge. Children with VF/pVT as first documented rhythm had better sustained ROSC (64.7% vs. 39.1%, p=0.046) and survival to hospital discharge rates (58.8% vs. 21.7%, p=0.02) than those with subsequent VF/pVT. Survival rate was inversely related to duration of CPR. Clinical outcome was not related to the cause or location of arrest, type of defibrillator and waveform, energy dose per shock, number of shocks, or cumulative energy dose, although there was a trend to better survival with higher doses per shock (25.0% with -1, 43.4% with 2-4Jkg-1 and 50.0% with >4Jkg-1) and worse with higher number of shocks and cumulative energy dose. Conclusion: The termination of pediatric VF/pVT in the IH-CA setting is achieved in a low percentage of instances with one electrical shock at 4Jkg-1. When VF/pVT is the first documented rhythm, the results of defibrillation are better than in the case of subsequent VF/pVT. No clear relationship between defibrillation protocol and ROSC or survival has been observed. The optimal pediatric defibrillation dose remains to be determined; therefore current resuscitation guidelines cannot be considered evidence-based, and additional research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Children
  • Defibrillation
  • Outcome
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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