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Bradyarrhythmias 

Bradyarrhythmias
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date: 25 November 2020

Bradyarrhythmias (defined as a heart rate <60 beat/min) occur frequently in the critical care setting. Most are related to underlying disease processes and the multidrug therapies administered. Because of the intense monitoring of these patients, recognition is generally easy. Examination of the ECG will allow diagnosis of the type of bradycardia based on the sinus node, atrioventricular node and the infra-Hissian conducting system. The extent of conduction system disease can be estimated and this has an influence on the prognosis. Bradycardias causing haemodynamic collapse require treatment of underlying causes, resuscitation, and administration of atropine and epinephrine. If there is no response to these then either transcutaneous pacing, or temporary transvenous pacing is necessary. This can be followed by implantation of a permanent pacing system. The outcome of correctly diagnosing and treating a bradyarrhythmia is excellent as long as the causative pathology can be stabilized.

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