Medical Surgical Critical Care BLS & CPR #1

Question

After performing CPR on a client, the rhythm check shows asystole. Which action is priority?

Answers

  1. Administer epinephrine every 3-5 minutes.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because priority is chest compressions. This is to allow the heart to get as much blood out to the body as possible.

  2. Provide electrical stimulation through AED.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because there is no electrical activity of the heart. Defibrillation attempts to revert deadly rhythms that have electrical activity.

  3. Intubate and ventilate the client.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is not priority over chest compressions. The purpose of ventilation is to provide oxygen to stimulate the heart to beat faster and stronger. Chest compressions are priority.

  4. Perform high quality CPR.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because high quality CPR is a priority in asystole. In asystole there is no electrical activity, no rhythm. Therefore, defibrillation will not help. Defibrillation only shocks an existing rhythm to get it back into a normal rhythm.

Overview

When asystole occurs, high quality CPR is priority. Defibrillation will be of no use when there is no heart rhythm.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

High quality CPR is a priority in asystole. In asystole, there is no electrical activity, no rhythm. Therefore, defibrillation will not help. Defibrillation only shocks an existing rhythm to get it back into a normal rhythm. In addition to providing high quality CPR, epinephrine is given every 3 to 5 minutes. This increases coronary and cerebral blood flow during CPR. Intubation and ventilation provides oxygen to stimulate the heart to beat stronger.

Test Taking Tip

High quality CPR, chest compressions are always priority in CPR.

Video Rationale