Cardiac arrest, as a result of ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia, is a common phenomenon, and the only treatment available is defibrillation. Currently, defibrillators deliver either a monophasic or biphasic shock, depending on the device used. In 2005, the American Heart Association published new cardiac arrest management guidelines, which included directions about energy selection for both types of defibrillators. These guidelines created a platform to address misconceptions that exist in the practice setting with regard to the use of biphasic defibrillators. The purpose of this literature review was to highlight the issues related to the practical use of biphasic energy, including optimal energy selection and safety.
Sheila Finamore, MSN, RN Faculty, Health Sciences, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
Sheila A. Turris, PhD, RN Faculty, Health Sciences, British Columbia Emergency Nurses' Association; Faculty, Health Sciences, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
Corresponding author Sheila Finamore, MSN, RN, Health Part Time Studies, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5G 3H2 (Sheila_Finamore@bcit.ca).