Cardiac arrest in children is not often due to a disturbance in rhythm that is amenable to electrical defibrillation, contrary to the situation in adults. When a shockable rhythm is present, defibrillation using an external electric shock applied at an early stage after pre-oxygenation and chest compressions is of proven efficacy. Success at conversion of ventricular fibrillation is dependent on the delay before delivering the shock and defibrillation efficiency, which is itself a function of thoracic impedance, energy dose and waveform.
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Competing interests: None.
- automated external defibrillator
- cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- European Resuscitation Council
- International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation
- return of spontaneous circulation
- ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia