Premature Ventricular Contractions (03:16)
Most PVCs are caused by re-entry, when an abnormal pathway allows an impulse to circle around and restimulate the ventricles. Hear EKG characteristics and learn about treatment. PVCs occurring every second, third, or fourth beat are called bigeminy, trigeminy, and quadrigeminy, respectively.
Ventricular Tachycardia (02:27)
Thia dysrhythmia is caused by re-entry and occurs in people with heart disease. V-Tach patients experience decreased cardiac output, can lose consciousness, and can develop ventricular fibrillation. Hear EKG characteristics and learn about treatment.
Ventricular Fibrillation (00:59)
This lethal ventricular dysrhythmia results in absent cardiac output, and is associated with advanced heart disease. Hear EKG characteristics. Treatment is immediate defibrillation and implementation of ACLS.
Ventricular Standstill (01:29)
Asystole is usually associated with advanced conduction system disease; hear EKG characteristics. Treatment is immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation, pacing, atropine, and epinephrine. Elderly hospital patients often register 2-3 second asystole during sleep. Awake, alert patients are not in asystole.
Pulseless Electrical Activity (00:43)
PEA may look like atrial, junctional, or ventricular dysrhythmias on a monitor, but the patient has no pulse or blood pressure. Despite electrical activity, the patient is in cardiac standstill. Treatment is governed by the patient's code status.
Caring for Patients with Dysrhythmias (04:16)
Nurses must know when to initiate standardized emergency protocols or administer medication; when to call the physician, and what to report about the dysrhythmia. Assess for signs of hemodynamic compromise and pay attention to the patient—not just the EKG monitor—to avoid medication or diagnostic error.
Credits: Ventricular Dysrhythmias and Patient Care: EKG Interpretation and Response (00:14)
Credits: Ventricular Dysrhythmias and Patient Care: EKG Interpretation and Response
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