Transcutaneous pacing (TCP) with a Lifepak 12

Image credit: Physio-Control

 

I discovered an interesting quirk about the Lifepak 12 the other day.

I'm sure many of you have been told (as I had been told) that the Lifepak 12 cannot perform TCP unless the limb lead electrodes are attached. There is a caveat to this (reference page 4-18 in the Operations Manual – this is a PDF file so "right-click" the link and select "save as"). If you are performing TCP in demand mode (even if you have it set well below the patient's intrinsic rate and no pacing is being delivered) as soon as the monitor detects "leads off" the monitor will deliver TCP at a fixed rate until the leads are replaced or the pacer is turned off.

For example, say you have a patient with atrial fibrillation and a slow ventricular response of 50 BPM whose ventricular response occasionally drops down to 20 (with 3 – 6 second asystolic pauses during which time the patient loses consciousness and appears peri-arrest). You apply the combo-pads and set the demand pacer for 40 PPM @ 130 mA so that the patient’s heart rate cannot drop below 40 (assuming capture is achieved with 130 mA). The patient’s heart rate stays above 40 so no pacing is delivered.

At the hospital, the nurses (through no fault of their own) remove the ECG leads to switch the patient to their own Lifepak 20. What happens? Answer: The Lifepak 12 delivers fixed rate pacing at 40 PPM @ 130 mA through the combo-pads until the leads are replaced or the pacer is turned off. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of. This is not a device malfunction.

See also:

Transcutaneous pacing (TCP) – The problem of false capture

Using capnography to confirm capture with transcutaneous pacing (TCP)

58 year old male CC: Unconscious (Transcutaneous pacing failure in the setting of hyperkalemia)

Transcutaneous pacing (TCP) for asystole

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Comments
Anne
Adenosine for sinus tachycardia: Try to avoid this!
If it were me, I would seek a second opinion; consult an electrophysiologist. Unlikely that you had sinus tachycardia at that rate.
2015-01-26 09:46:57
John
Adenosine given for a narrow-complex tachycardia over 150
If things such as Sepsis, Drug Use, Medication issues, Anxiety, Pain, etc.. have been ruled out, and the rate is still >160 (or whatever number you use). How else do you determine S-Tach Vs. SVT? Does a 12 Lead Help (QRS Complexes facing different directions due to different pathways etc..) or a simple 4 Lead?…
2015-01-19 19:44:32
Brandon O
Adenosine for sinus tachycardia: Try to avoid this!
She may not have had anxiety, but I bet she was a carrier...
2015-01-18 02:31:08
Brooks Walsh MD
Adenosine for sinus tachycardia: Try to avoid this!
Highly unusual for this to be sinus at that rate!
2015-01-17 19:21:04
Mel
Adenosine for sinus tachycardia: Try to avoid this!
I experience bouts of tachycardia. I had it investigated about 5 years ago after being woken during the night by projectile vomiting and feeling my heart racing/thumping with carotid pulse that I could certainly palpate but had no chance of counting (whether the 2 symptoms were related or coincidental, I don't know). I've had multiple…
2015-01-17 18:47:19

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