Heart Education

Pulseless Electrical Activity


Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA), formerly known as Electromechanical Dissociation (EMD), is a condition in which there is electrical activity of the heart, but no mechanical capture (no mechanical pumping of the ventricles). Patients in PEA will have a rhythm (it can be any rhythm, technically speaking) on the monitor, but will be pulseless. Resuscitation of the patient should focus on determining the cause of, and reversing the cause of this arrhythmia. Most commonly, PEA is caused by one of the following: Hypovolemia, hypoxia, acidosis, pericardial tamponade, tension pneumothorax, large pulmonary emboli, large myocardial infarction, hypothermia and/or drug overdoses.

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