This study was designed to compare outcome after adult defibrillation dosing versus pediatric dosing in a piglet model of prolonged prehospital ventricular fibrillation (VF).
Weight-based 2 to 4 J/kg monophasic defibrillation dosing is recommended for children in VF, but impractical for automated external defibrillator (AED) use. Present AEDs can only provide adult shock doses or newly developed attenuated adult doses intended for children. A single escalating energy sequence (50/75/86 J) of attenuated adult-dose biphasic shocks (pediatric dosing) is at least as effective as escalating monophasic weight-based dosing for prolonged VF in piglets, but this approach has not been compared to standard adult biphasic dosing.
Following 7 min of untreated VF, piglets weighing 13 to 26 kg (19 ± 1 kg) received either biphasic 50/75/86 J (pediatric dose) or biphasic 200/300/360 J (adult dose) therapies during simulated prehospital life support.
Return of spontaneous circulation was attained in 15 of 16 pediatric-dose piglets and 14 of 16 adult-dose piglets. Four hours postresuscitation, pediatric dosing resulted in fewer elevations of cardiac troponin T (0 of 12 piglets vs. 6 of 11 piglets, p = 0.005) and less depression of left ventricular ejection fraction (p < 0.05). Most importantly, more piglets survived to 24 h with good neurologic scores after pediatric shocks than adult shocks (13 of 16 piglets vs. 4 of 16 piglets, p = 0.004).
In this model, pediatric shocks resulted in superior outcome compared with adult shocks. These data suggest that adult defibrillation dosing may be harmful to pediatric patients with VF and support the use of attenuating electrodes with adult biphasic AEDs to defibrillate children.