Scaling current and energy with body weight: requirements for the transthoracic ventricular defibrillation of calves as they grow from 50 to 150 kg.
To test the hypothesis that the effectiveness of a shock in achieving ventricular defibrillation is relatively independent of body weight if electrode diameter is proportional to the one-third power and current is proportional to the two-thirds power of weight, we studied defibrillation rates in 10 calves as they increased weight. At 50 kg, each calf was subjected to 20 fibrillation-defibrillation episodes using 10.3-cm diameter electrodes and 32-amp, 4-msec rectangular pulses for defibrillation. Two days after the original study, each calf underwent 20 additional episodes involving 44-amp pulses. With the specified scaling of electrode diameter and pulse amplitude, the two studies were repeated at weight intervals of 25 kg as the animals grew. Six calves survived. In the study that started with 32-amp pulses, first-shock success values of 28%, 49%, 66%, 51% and 23% were found in the six surviving calves at 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150 kg, respectively. The corresponding values were 93%, 96%, 93%, 94% and 91% in the study that started with 44-amp pulses. While the results of the 32-amp study fail to support our initial hypothesis, those obtained in the 44-amp current study appear compatible with the hypothesis.
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