A 65 year old adult male being seen in the emergency department for respiratory failure suddenly stops breathing and displays a sinus bradycardic rhythm of 48/min on the monitor. Which of the following is the priority intervention for this patient?
A. Lay patient in a supine position, confirm the presence of a pulse, and begin to ventilate the patient at a rate of 12/minute. B. Immediately administer 0.5 mg Atropine via IV to correct the bradycardia. C. Begin CPR at a rate of 30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths. D. Apply pads to patient s chest and begin to pace at 70/min.
Lay patient in a supine position, confirm the presence of a pulse, and begin to ventilate the patient at a rate of 12/minute.
BLS before ALS - The likely cause of this patients bradycardia is hypoxia. Correction of hypoxia is likely to correct the bradycardia. Therefore, airway positioning and ventilation of the patient are indicated. Atropine and transcutaneous pacing can be considered if the patient remains symptomatic once the hypoxia has been corrected. CPR would be indicated if the patient became pulseless.