Atropine

atropine

I rank Atropine 12 out of the 33 drugs we carry.

Aside from routine use in cardiac arrest, I use Atropine two or three times a year for patients with symptomatic bradycardia. I have no reason to believe it does any good at all in cardiac arrest, but as far as symptomatic bradycardia, as long as the patient is not in a third-degree block, I have had good success with Atropine.

Earlier in my career, I used Atropine a bit more, but that was before I knew that many people thanks to beta blockers had every day pulses in the high 40′s, low 50′s. I also used to more readily give it to a patient having an MI (heart attack), which can increase their oxygen demand and cause more damage. Now I only give it to patients having an MI if they are hypoperfusing. Ah, the learning curve.

The best bradycardia calls are for the patient passed out in the bathroom. You find them on the floor, cold and clammy, no pressure, pulse in the 20′s. Straining to go to the bathroom, their vagus nerve overpowered them, knocking their heart rate down and they lacked the ability to rebound on their own. We used to give a full amp of Atropine, now we give 0.5, and if that doesn’t work another 0.5 mg, etc. A couple times I have given the full 1 mg by mistake. Old dogs. Still the drug works well, the pulse picks up, the patient wakes up, the skin colors up and drys out and all is well in paramedic land. “You fixed them,” the doctor says to me in the ED. Music to my ears.

If I don’t have atropine in my kit, I can always pace the patient. Other options are Dopamine and an epi drip.

***

We can also give Atropine to organophosphate poisionings, but I have never had one.

***

Atropine (Atropine Sulfate)

Class: Antimuscarinic
Parasympathetic blocker
Anticholinergic

Action: Blocks acetylcholine (ACh) at muscarinic sites

Indication: Symptomatic bradyarrhythmias
Cholinergic poisonings
Asystole
Refractory bronchospasm

Contraindication: Relative contraindication wide complex bradycardia in the setting of acute ischemic chest pain

Side effects: Tachyarrhythmias
Exacerbation of Glaucoma
Precipitation of myocardial ischemia

Dose: Bradyarrhythmias – 0.5mg , may repeat every 3-5 minutes

Asystole – 1mg IV MR (May repeat) IV q 3-5 minutes (total max. dose 3mg)

Organophosphate poisonings – 1mg – 2mg; may repeat as needed

Route: IV push

Pedi dose: 0.02mg/kg IV

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Peter Canning

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

Recent Posts
Thoughts on Ebola October 23, 2014
STEMI Call October 14, 2014
Ebola October 2, 2014
Breaker of Men September 25, 2014
Categories
  • ems-health-safety (7)
  • ems-topics (698)
  • hazmat (1)
  • Uncategorized (413)
  • Comments
    Jerrid Edgington
    Racing the Reaper: Book Review
    I was surfing the web and came across this page. I am humbled by the review and comments. I can't thank you all enough. The first two books that originally were self published, were re-edited by my publisher and re-released. The third book in the series, Reaper's Requiem, will be released on December 6, 2014.…
    2014-10-29 17:06:57
    Kent
    Thoughts on Ebola
    We are only talking about one airline and two weekly flights to Monrovia and Senagal because the plane lands in Dakkar. I can tell as I have been in both of these airports that prior to entry your temp is taken and a chlorine hand wash is required, this is also repeated before boarding. Again…
    2014-10-29 00:42:00
    Kent
    Thoughts on Ebola
    Every year 37000 people in the US die of the flu, for which we have a vaccine and OTC meds. 10000 Ebola cases and we loose our minds...why? Is this the CNN effect, whipping up hysteria ? Why do we not sequestering those with the flu? Quarantine is not the answer for non symptomatic people…
    2014-10-29 00:31:08
    RJ in florida
    Thoughts on Ebola
    this appears to becomming political. The lack of an african quarantine is because if the government orders it, the airlines can go back to the government for lost revinue when its over. If they do it on their own its a business descision and have to eat the loss. The appomtment of a non doctor…
    2014-10-24 19:36:32
    tom combs
    Thoughts on Ebola
    Best effort is to quarantine/contain in W. Africa. Flight restrict all wanting to leave until 21 day safe or otherwise proven to be zero risk. It's in everyone's best interest. Here is a radio interview I gave 10/13. Unfortunately the situation is essentially unchanged. Thanks and be safe! I appreciate what you do. http://www.rmapublicity.com/images/stories/Audio/Nerve%20Damage%20-%20Wall%20Street%20Journal%20Tji%20Morning%20-%20October%2013,%202014.mp3
    2014-10-24 14:26:16

    Now Available: Mortal Men

    Mortal Men is available as an electronic book for Kindle, Nook or any other e-reader. Here is a link to some of the places to buy it. The book sells for $3.99. Barnes and Noble Amazon Smashwords Scribd Also Available from iBooks

    Order My Books

    Support EMS Bloggers, Buy Their Books

    Google

    Order Books and Movies

    FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

    Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

    LATEST EMS NEWS

    HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS