Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Top Ten Medical Devices We Miss

From Medgadget, excerpted from "Top Ten Medical Devices We Miss"

1. The Precordial Thump

It couldn't be simpler, or more satisfying: take your fist and whack an unresponsive patient's breastbone. And before people knew about cardiac contusions or commotio cordis, it was done quite a bit. The thump isn't entirely gone -- it's still allowed by ACLS guidelines for witnessed arrest in the absence of a defibrillator. There's some evidence that the energy of the strike can sometimes convert a ventricular tachycardia to a normal rhythm, and in the case of witnessed arrest, it's worth the risk. Otherwise, it's an artifact of a lively past.


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