Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 3 (VTQ)

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The 4 T's

Video 42 of 117
3 min 26 sec
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Exploring the 4 Ts of Reversible Causes of Cardiac Arrest


Poisoning as a Potential Cause of Cardiac Arrest

In a pre-hospital setting, we often encounter cases of overdose, especially with narcotics like heroin, leading to respiratory arrest and subsequent cardiac arrest. Basic pre-hospital interventions are available for these cases.

Complex poisoning cases require in-hospital management, including blood tests and consultation with toxicology specialists who provide specific guidance on overdose management.

Cardiac Tamponade

Understanding Cardiac Tamponade as a Reversible Cause

Cardiac tamponade can result from trauma or severe pericardial infection. Even a small amount of blood (15 milliliters) in the pericardial sac can halt myocardial function. The thick pericardial sac quickly compresses the heart in the presence of fluid or blood.

Immediate intervention is essential to relieve pressure from the pericardial sac, typically accomplished through Pericardiocentesis. This procedure should be performed by a doctor in a resuscitation department or by specialist medical teams in pre-hospital settings.

Thromboembolic Causes

Understanding Thromboembolic Causes of Cardiac Arrest

Thromboembolic events involve blood clots forming and traveling within the circulatory system, potentially lodging in the heart, brain, or lungs. These events can present as vena cava obstruction, pulmonary embolism, or myocardial infarction in pre-hospital settings.

Initial pre-hospital treatment includes high-quality CPR and defibrillation when necessary. In hospital settings, thromboembolic cardiac arrest management may involve thrombolysis alongside ongoing CPR.

Tension Pneumothorax

Recognizing Tension Pneumothorax as a Reversible Cause

Tension pneumothorax often follows trauma, causing air to accumulate in the pleural space around the lungs, leading to increased pressure and lung collapse. This condition is a medical emergency and can swiftly progress to cardiac arrest.

Immediate action is crucial. Inserting a needle into the second intercostal space allows the release of air pressure, enabling the lung to reinflate and facilitating ventilation.