Defibrillation (Child & Infant)

Cardiac arrest in children is uncommon and, unlike in adults, is rarely caused by ventricular fibrillation. In general, cardiac arrest in children is due to a lack of oxygen in the body.

As a result, defibrillation, which is often used to treat cardiac arrest in adults, is rarely needed in children. This is partly because children's heart tissue is young and healthy, making defibrillation less effective and potentially dangerous for them.

Instead, effective resuscitation maneuvers for children suffering from cardiac arrest typically focus on getting oxygen into the body. This can be accomplished by using respiratory support devices such as face masks or endotracheal tubes, or by performing artificial ventilation.

Because of the physiological differences between adults and children, treatment approaches for cardiac arrest must be tailored to the age and physical condition of the patient. In children, the priority is to provide oxygen to the body rather than to use defibrillation, which may impair recovery.


Definition and Meaning

Infant defibrillation refers to the use of a defibrillator to deliver controlled electrical shocks through an infant's chest to restore normal heart rhythm in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. However, defibrillation in infants is rarely necessary because cardiac arrest in infants is often caused by respiratory problems, such as airway obstruction or respiratory failure, rather than cardiac problems. If defibrillation is necessary, it is important to use a defibrillator specifically designed for infants and to follow the manufacturer's instructions and medical care protocols to avoid further damage or complications.

Causes of pediatric cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest in children is exceptionally caused by ventricular fibrillation, accounting for only one in a thousand cases. In most cases, the arrest is due to a lack of oxygen, such as:

  • hypoxia,
  • anoxia,
  • drowning,
  • suffocation,
  • intoxication,
  • spontaneous apnea,
  • etc.

Treatment of cardiac arrest in children

Children's heart tissue is usually young and healthy, so there is no risk of infarction. As a result, defibrillation is not necessary and may even delay effective resuscitation maneuvers such as oxygen delivery. In most cases, the rapid delivery of oxygen to the cells can restore blood flow.