Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia

Welcome to this edition of The First Aid Show. Today we are going to look at pulseless ventricular tachycardia in a short film presented by Tony, our paramedic, who presents our Advanced Life Support course. This is another type of heart condition. Tachycardia is where the heart beats too quickly.

Now we are going to talk about another type of tachycardia that originates in the ventricles. Here it is a type of tachycardia and is caused by, for example, a blockage in the coronary arteries. This causes a short circuit around a particular point down in the ventricles. Because this is outside of the normal control of the nervous control of the heart, as the heart becomes faster, ventricular filling time is lessened. This reduces the cardiac output. Eventually, if not managed, this will lead to the patient going into a cardiac arrest. At this p[oint, we would not be able to find a pulse in their wrist. This is called pulseless ventricular tachycardia and the treatment for this is to deliver a DC shock via a defibrillator.

Another shockable rhythm that the heart goes into is when a patient goes into ventricular fibrillation. Here again, the heart has got some dis-coordinated, erratic electrical activity. This leads to the ventricular walls fibrillating and not ejecting the blood out of ventricles. This rapidly leads to the patient becoming unconscious. Again, the treatment for ventricular fibrillation is to deliver a DC shock. If we witness the patient going into a cardiac arrest and we witness that it is this, we deliver three rapid shocks in quick succession and then continue on with our ventricular fibrillation protocol.

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