Asystole - Causes, Symptom, Cure, Treatment of Asystole

Synonyms and related keywords: flat line, asystole, cardiac standstill, pulseless electrical activity, PEA, primary asystole, secondary asystole, bradyasystolic rhythm, bradydysrhythmia, bradyasystole, asystolic cardiopulmonary arrest, asystolic cardiac arrest

What is Asystole?

Asystole is a condition can be defined as absence of systole; failure of the ventricles of the heart to contract with consequent absence of the heart beat leading to oxygen lack and eventually lead to death. Asystole is cardiac standstill with no cardiac output and no ventricular depolarization; it eventually occurs in all dying patients.

Asystole is a state of no cardiac electrical activity, hence no contractions of the myocardium and no cardiac output or blood flow. Asystole or bradyasystole follows untreated VF and commonly occurs after unsuccessful attempts at defibrillation.

Causes of Asystole

Asystole is usually caused by ventricular fibrillation. Primary asystole develops when cellular metabolic functions are no longer intact and an electrical impulse cannot be generated. With severe ischemia, pacemaker cells cannot transport the ions necessary to effect the transmembrane action potential. Implantable pacemaker failure may also be a cause of primary asystole.

Treatment and Cure of Asystole

Primary asystole may be prevented by the appropriate use of a permanent pacemaker in those patients who have high-grade heart block or sinus arrest.

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