Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in children

Marc D. Berg, Vinay M. Nadkarni, Robert A. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize current opinion and advances in pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including etiology, pathophysiology, rationale for interventions, and postresuscitation management. RECENT FINDINGS: Cardiac arrest and ventricular fibrillation in children are not as uncommon as previously reported. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in 8-20 children/100 000/year, and in-hospital arrests occur in 2-6% admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit. Most pediatric arrests are precipitated by asphyxia or circulatory shock, but approximately 10% are precipitated by ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. In addition, greater than 1/4 of children with in-hospital cardiac arrests have ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation at some time during the event. After out-of-hospital arrests, approximately 10% survive to hospital discharge, whereas greater than 25% survive to discharge after in-hospital arrests. Appropriate interventions differ during the four phases of cardiac arrest: prearrest, no-flow, low-flow, and postresuscitation. Close monitoring and prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation can minimize the no-flow phase, good quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation is important during the low-flow phase, defibrillation is necessary for ventricular fibrillation, and aggressive supportive care is important during the postresuscitation phase. SUMMARY: Recent advances in our understanding of the etiology, pathophysiology, and therapies tied to the timing, phase, and duration of cardiac arrest can improve outcomes for children. New epidemiological data and multicenter studies are ushering in the era of evidence-based pediatric resuscitation therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Children
  • Defibrillation
  • Pediatrics
  • Resuscitation
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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