Blood clots are a serious business. They can restrict or even completely block blood flow to organs and extremities, causing things like pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, ischemic bowel and even loss of limbs. So, it makes perfect sense that we want to prevent blood clots AND treat them when they occur. How do we do this?
ECMO (otherwise known as extracorporeal membraneous oxygenation) is essentially a life support measure used when the lungs or both heart and lungs cannot function adequately with traditional mechanical ventilation support. In ECMO, blood is drained from the body, diverted to an oxygenator where gas exchange takes place, then returned to the patient. There! Now you know everything you need to know about ECMO. Just kidding! Let’s start at the very beginning.
I am going to let you guys in on a super easy way to determine where your patient is having his MI based on your 12-lead EKG. Please recall that in order to determine right-ventricular infarction you’d need to do a reverse EKG, but that’s another story for another day. Not sure if you need this much detail for your NCLEX (I somehow think not), but you’ll definitely want it for CCRN, clinicals and on-the-job awesomeness.
If you’ve been befuddled by all the different types of heart block, today is your lucky ducky day. After reading this post, you will be able to easily and quickly identify and differentiate between the various types of heart block and keep them all straight in that gorgeous head of yours.
Here’s a quickie method to keep the ACLS algorithm straight in that pretty little brain of yours. The “Box Method” was presented to me at my last ACLS recertification course, and I thought it was nifty enough to share here. On a side note, sorry for the long delay between posts…dealing with carpal tunnel and haven’t been able to type 🙁