Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract We report on two cases of mechanical termination of supraventricular tachycardia by chest thump which were followed by serious complications. In a 3-year-old boy with an otherwise normal heart, incessant supraventricular tachycardia was converted to sinus rhythm by a single precordial thump. This, however was followed by thrombo-embolic infarction of the left-sided middle cerebral artery. In another case of a 9-year-old girl, recurrent episodes of supraventricular tachycardia were associated with Ebstein anomaly of the tricuspid valve. Chest thump was successful in terminating supraventricular tachycardia but induced a short run of ventricular tachycardia which terminated itself and was then followed by sinus rhythm. It is concluded that even a slight precordial thump implies undetermined risks in the acute management of supraventricular tachycardia in children and should therefore be abandoned in favour of other methods.
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