Key messages

• Antiarrhythmic drugs are still the first therapeutic modality in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias despite impressive advances in non-pharmacological approaches such as radiofrequency catheter ablation and the implantable cardioverter defibrillator for long-term arrhythmia management.

• Cardiac arrhythmias in critically ill patients are often the consequence of non-cardiac states such as sepsis, electrolyte imbalance, and hypoxia, and any therapy designed to restore sinus rhythm must address such factors.

• Vaughan Williams class I drugs are not commonly used because of adverse effects on myocardial contractility and significant risk of proarrhythmia.

• Beta-blockers are useful in certain situations, and the action of ultra-short-acting agents such as esmolol has enabled b-blocker therapy to be attempted in a wider range of clinical situations.

• Amiodarone is perhaps the most useful acute agent for both ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias, but there is considerable concern about long-term usage when side-effects are common and potentially serious.

• Magnesium in pharmacological doses is useful in the treatment of torsade de pointes (a variant of ventricular tachycardia).

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Have You Been Told Over And Over Again That You Snore A Lot, But You Choose To Ignore It? Have you been experiencing lack of sleep at night and find yourself waking up in the wee hours of the morning to find yourself gasping for air?

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment