Inappropriate Shock Delivery Is Common During Pediatric In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

for the pediRES-Q Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To characterize inappropriate shock delivery during pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: An international pediatric cardiac arrest quality improvement collaborative Pediatric Resuscitation Quality [pediRES-Q]. PATIENTS: All IHCA events from 2015 to 2020 from the pediRES-Q Collaborative for which shock and electrocardiogram waveform data were available. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We analyzed 418 shocks delivered during 159 cardiac arrest events, with 381 shocks during 158 events at 28 sites remaining after excluding undecipherable rhythms. We classified shocks as: 1) appropriate (ventricular fibrillation [VF] or wide complex ≥ 150/min); 2) indeterminate (narrow complex ≥ 150/min or wide complex 100-149/min); or 3) inappropriate (asystole, sinus, narrow complex < 150/min, or wide complex < 100/min) based on the rhythm immediately preceding shock delivery. Of delivered shocks, 57% were delivered appropriately for VF or wide complex rhythms with a rate greater than or equal to 150/min. Thirteen percent were classified as indeterminate. Thirty percent were delivered inappropriately for asystole (6.8%), sinus (3.1%), narrow complex less than 150/min (11%), or wide complex less than 100/min (8.9%) rhythms. Eighty-eight percent of all shocks were delivered in ICUs or emergency departments, and 30% of those were delivered inappropriately. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of inappropriate shock delivery for pediatric IHCA in this international cohort is at least 30%, with 23% delivered to an organized electrical rhythm, identifying opportunity for improvement in rhythm identification training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E390-E396
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • children
  • defibrillation
  • ventricular fibrillation
  • ventricular tachycardia


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