Difference between revisions of "ACLS: Bradycardia"

(Differential Diagnosis)
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**[[Chagas disease]]
**[[Chagas disease]]

Revision as of 00:48, 11 March 2016

This page is for bradycardia with a pulse; for bradycardia without a pulse see Adult Pulseless Arrest (i.e. PEA)


  • HR < 60
  • Intervention only necessary if pt is symptomatic (hypotension, AMS, chest pain, pulm edema)


  • Sinus node dysfunction
  • AV node dysfunction
    • 1st degree AV block
    • 2nd degree AV block Mobitz I/Wenckebach
    • 2nd degree AV block Mobitz II
    • 3rd degree AV block (complete heart block)

Differential Diagnosis


  • Atropine
    • Can be used as temporizing measure (while awaiting pacing and/or chronotropes)
    • Use cautiously in patients with ongoing ischemia (tachycardia may worsen ischemia)
    • 0.5mg q3-5min (max 3mg or 6 doses)
      • May not work in 2nd/3rd degree heart block, heart transplant
      • Priority is to use external cardiac pacemaking[1]
      • Block is below AV node so atropine will accelerate sinus rate, leading to worsening of block and increased fatigue of AV nodal cells
  • Chronotropes
  • Transcutaneous Pacing
  • Transvenous Pacing

Antidotes for toxicologic causes

See Also


  1. Burns, E. AV block: 3rd degree (complete heart block). http://lifeinthefastlane.com/ecg-library/basics/complete-heart-block/