This case was written by Drs. Pittman and Bridges, emergency physicians at Prisma Health-Upstate in Greenville, SC. They both teach in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville and in the emergency medicine residency program. Dr. Pittman is the residency Director of Academic Success, completed residency at the Georgetown / Washington Hospital Center Emergency … Continue reading Unstable Atrial Fib
In this scenario, the learner is called to the ward to assess a 65-year old male with new VT. The learner must recognize the rhythm and institute appropriate work-up and management including electrical cardioversion.
A 46 year old male with a cast on his left leg from a bad ankle fracture presents to the ED complaining of pleuritic chest pain and shortness of breath. The team will take a history and start workup when the patient will suddenly state he’s “not feeling well” and then arrest. The team will perform ACLS consistent with the PEA algorithm and should consider IV thrombolytics. If IV thrombolytics are administered, the patient will have ROSC.
A 54-year-old male police officer presents to the ED complaining of chest pain for two hours that started after his weekend hockey game. He is feeling dizzy and short of breath upon presentation. He will have a VT arrest as he is placed on the monitor. He will require two shocks and rounds of CPR before he has ROSC. He will then loose his pulse again while the team is trying to initiate post-arrest care; this will happen several times. Finally, the team will maintain ROSC. When an ECG is performed, it is revealed that the patient has a STEMI and the team will need to call for emergent PCI.
A 26-year-old man who suffered a syncopal event while playing soccer presents to the emergency department with a stable wide-complex tachycardia (WCT). The patient must be treated with an antiarrhythmic medication or by synchronized cardioversion. The patient later deteriorates into an unstable WCT and then ventricular fibrillation requiring advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and defibrillation.