PEA Arrest and Breaking Bad News

A 70 year old man who had an unwitnessed cardiac arrest is brought to the ED via EMS from his local Tennis Club. Despite multiple rounds of appropriate resuscitative measures, the patient does not gain return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Learners will need to discuss the termination of resuscitation with team members and communicate with the patient’s wife.

COVID-19: Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

The patient is found by a friend unresponsive after a 7 day history of cough and shortness of breath. He immediately receives bystander CPR. An advanced care paramedic crew attends the scene and manages a ventricular fibrillation arrest prior to transporting to hospital. The patient goes into cardiac arrest again shortly before arriving in the emergency department. The team will need to prepare for the patient's arrival and then manage a cardiac arrest using appropriate precautions for suspected COVID-19.

COVID-19: STEMI with VF Arrest

This 50-year old woman presents with typical cardiac chest pain and high suspicion for COVID-19. Her ECG shows an anterior STEMI. The team will start performing the initial work-up and management of a patient with STEMI. While this is occurring, the patient suffers a VF arrest. The team will need to go through the ACLS algorithm while taking all precautions required in caring for a patient with suspected COVID.

Geriatric Case 3: Termination of Resuscitation

An elderly male is brought in by ambulance from home with CPR in progress. He collapsed in front of his son/daughter who commenced CPR. His rhythm has been PEA throughout and his downtime is 20 minutes. Participants should assess the patient, gather information about his background and determine that CPR is futile. They should decide to cease CPR and inform his son/daughter in a sensitive manner that their father has died. They will also debrief the team following the termination of resuscitation.

Geriatric Case 2: Chronic Digoxin Toxicity

An 85-year-old man presents after a fall at home. He is complaining of dizziness and has a HR of 30. Further assessment reveals chronic digoxin toxicity and a concurrent UTI with acute renal failure. The patient requires management of his bradycardia and acute renal failure with specific management of chronic digoxin toxicity including a discussion with toxicology and administration of Digibind.

LVAD Case

A 62-year-old man presents to the ED with palpitations and general malaise. On initial assessment, the team finds out he had an LVAD placed within the last 1 month. The team will need to work through how to assess the patient’s vital signs appropriately and will discover the patient has a low MAP and a low-grade fever. On inspection, the patient’s drive line site will appear infected. The initial ECG will show features of hyperkalemia. After the initial assessment, the patient will progress to a PEA arrest requiring resuscitation by ACLS protocols. Labs will reveal an acute kidney injury and hyperkalemia. The patient will obtain ROSC when the hyperkalemia is treated.