Pediatric defibrillation shocks alone do not cause heart damage in a porcine model

Ben McCartney, Adam Harvey, Amy Kernaghan, Sara Morais, Olibhéar McAlister, Paul Crawford, Pardis Biglarbeigi, Raymond Bond, Dewar Finlay, David McEneaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) use various shock protocols with different characteristics when deployed in pediatric mode. The aim of this study is to assess and compare the safety and efficacy of different AED pediatric protocols using novel experimental approaches.

Methods: Two defibrillation protocols (A and B) were assessed across two studies: Protocol A: escalating (50–75–90 J) defibrillation waveform with higher voltage, shorter duration and equal phase durations. Protocol B; non-escalating (50–50–50 J) defibrillation waveform with lower voltage, longer duration and unequal phase durations. Experiment 1: Isolated shock damage was assessed following shocks to 12 anesthetized pigs. Animals were randomized into two groups, receiving three shocks from Protocol A (50–75–90 J) or B (50–50–50 J). Cardiac function, cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and histopathology were analyzed. Experiment 2: Defibrillation safety and efficacy were assessed through shock success, ROSC, ST-segment deviation and contractility following 16 randomized shocks from protocol A or B delivered to 10 anesthetized pigs in VF.

Results: Experiment 1: No clinically meaningful difference in cTnI, CPK, ST-segment deviation, ejection fraction or histopathological damage was observed following defibrillation with either protocol. No difference was observed between protocols at any timepoint. Experiment 2: all defibrillation types demonstrated shock success and ROSC ≥ 97.5%. Post-ROSC contractility was similar between protocols.

Conclusions: There is no evidence that administration of clinically relevant shock sequences, without experimental confounders, result in significant myocardial damage in this model of pediatric resuscitation. Typical variations in AED pediatric mode settings do not affect defibrillation safety and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100203
Number of pages9
JournalResuscitation Plus
Early online date1 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • AED
  • Biomarkers
  • Defibrillation
  • Paediatric
  • Resuscitation
  • Waveforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Pediatric defibrillation shocks alone do not cause heart damage in a porcine model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this