When a child has ventricular fibrillation, it is important to take action quickly. In these rare cases, a child's heart may be in VF for a variety of reasons, including heart defects or cardiac arrest due to electrical shock.
To respond to these emergency situations, it is crucial to have access to appropriate equipment. It is recommended to use child-specific electrodes or a power-reducing tip for children between one and eight years of age. If these options are not available, adult electrodes can be used, but it is important not to overlap them on the child's small chest.
Definition and Meaning
A pediatric defibrillator is a medical device used to deliver electrical shocks to a child in ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, two potentially life-threatening types of cardiac arrhythmia. Pediatric defibrillators are similar to adult defibrillators, but have specially designed electrodes and shock settings for children. Children's defibrillators are often used in emergency departments, hospitals, airplanes and other public places. Children's defibrillators should be used by trained health care professionals or individuals trained in their use in an emergency.
When responding to a child between the ages of one and eight years, it is recommended that specific pediatric electrodes be used, if available. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper placement. Some models of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) use adult electrodes with a power-reducing tip, often in the shape of a teddy bear, to decrease the electrical shock.
If pediatric electrodes or a power-reducing tip are not available, adult electrodes can be used, taking care not to overlap them on the child's small chest. If, due to the size of the chest and the electrodes, it is not possible to place both on the front of the chest, one electrode can be placed on the front of the chest and one in the middle of the back between the two shoulder blades.
In the event of cardiopulmonary arrest in a child, it is important to use appropriate electrodes and follow the manufacturer's directions for proper placement. If pediatric electrodes are not available, adult electrodes may be used, taking care not to overlap them on the child's small chest. The rescuer may need to perform chest compressions by pressing directly on the forehead electrode if necessary.