Case Archive
Paramedics, Cardiology
Ref. # 30358

A 46 year old New York man with left arm numbness and shortness of breath was en route to the hospital in an ambulance. He arrested, with ventricular fibrillation. The paramedics were unable to defibrillate the patient because the defibrillator batteries were insufficiently charged. A medQuest paramedic reported that the standard of care requires spare batteries to be on board. He further noted an unwarranted delay in securing a second ambulance. A medQuest cardiologist reported that had the patient been defibrillated in the ambulance, he would have readily cardioverted to NSR. The patient would have done well based on the fact that he subsequently cardioverted readily in the ER and regained adequate blood pressure, but at that point he had anoxic encephalopathy, rendering him neurologically impaired.

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