Immediate Life Support (ILS)- Healthcare

95 videos, 5 hours and 40 minutes

Course Content

Non shockable rhythms

Video 25 of 95
1 min 39 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Understanding Cardiac Arrest: Causes, Rhythms, and Initial Response

Non-Shockable Rhythms in Cardiac Arrest

In some cardiac arrest cases, the heart enters a non-shockable rhythm. During the initial stages, the primary treatment involves high-quality chest compressions and ventilations. It's crucial to note that the chances of reverting asystole (flatline) back into a life-supporting rhythm are less than 6%. In contrast, for ventricular fibrillation, the success rate is approximately 40%.

Understanding the Causes

Cardiac arrest can be attributed to various factors, and a helpful mnemonic to remember these causes is the four H's and four T's. Recognizing these reversible causes is essential during a cardiac arrest scenario:

The Four H's

  • Hypoxia: Inadequate oxygen supply
  • Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature
  • Hypovolemia: Low blood volume
  • Metabolic Imbalances: Includes hypo/hypercalcemia, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, and metabolic acidosis

The Four T's

  • Cardiac Tamponade: Compression of the heart due to fluid accumulation
  • Tension Pneumothorax: Build-up of air in the chest, causing pressure on the heart
  • Toxins: Poisoning or exposure to harmful substances
  • Thromboembolic: Blood clots or embolisms, often following a heart attack or stroke

In the pre-hospital setting, thromboembolic events, such as those occurring after a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a significant cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke), are among the more frequently encountered causes of cardiac arrest.