Transthoracic resistance in human defibrillation. Influence of body weight, chest size, serial shocks, paddle size and paddle contact pressure.
Successful defibrillation depends on delivery of adequate electrical current to the heart; one of the major determinants of current flow is transthoracic resistance (TTR). To study the factors influencing TTR, we prospectively collected data from 44 patients undergoing emergency defibrillation. Shocks of 94-450 J delivered energy were administered from specially calibrated Datascope defibrillators that displayed peak current flow, thereby permitting determination of TTR. Shocks were applied from standard (8.5-cm diameter) or large (13 cm) paddles placed anteriorly and laterally. First-shock TTR ranged from 15-143 omega. There was a weak correlation between TTR and body weight (r = 0.45, p less than 0.05) and a stronger correlation between TTR and chest width (r = 0.80, p less than 0.01). Twenty-three patients who were defibrillated using standard 8.5-cm paddles had a mean TTR of 67 +/- 36 omega (+/- SD), whereas 21 patients who received shocks using paddle pairs with at least one large (13 cm) paddle had a 21% lower TTR of 53 +/- 24 omega (p = 0.05, unpaired t test). Ten patients received first and second shocks at the same energy level; TTR declined only 8%, from 52 +/- 19 to 48 +/- 16 omega (p less than 0.01, paired t test). In closed chest dogs, shocks were administered using a spring apparatus that regulated paddle contact pressure against the thorax. Firmer contact pressure caused TTR to decrease 25%, from 48 +/- 22 to 36 +/- 17 omega (p less than 0.01, paired t test). Thus, human TTR varies widely and is related most closely to chest size. TTR declines only slightly with a second shock at the same energy level. More substantial reductions in TTR and declines only slightly with a second shock at the same energy level. More substantial reductions in TTR and increases in current flow can be achieved by using large paddles and applying firm paddle contact pressure.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association