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Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia

The pulseless ventricular tachycardia rhythm is primarily identified by several criteria.

First, the rate is usually greater than 180 beats per minute and the rhythm generally has
a very wide QRS complex.
Second, the patient will be pulseless and third, the rhythm originates in the ventricles.
This is in contrast to other types of tachycardias which have origination above the
ventricular tissue (in the atria).

Not all ventricular tachycardias are pulseless and therefore, pulselessness must be
established prior to beginning an algorithm. This is accomplished simply by checking a
carotid or femoral pulse.

Pulselessness with a tachyarrhythmia occurs because the ventricles are not effectively
moving blood out of the heart and there is therefor no cardiac output. Many
tachyarrhythmias of a rate >150 will deteriorate into pulselessness if timely treatment is
not given.
Pulseless ventricular tachycardia is treated using the left branch of the puslesless arrest
arrest algorithm.Click below to view the pulseless arrest algorithm diagram.