What is Pulseless Electrical Activity?

June 30, 2016Comments Off on What is Pulseless Electrical Activity?

Pulseless electrical activity, shortened to PEA, is a form of cardiac arrest where the heart completely stops and loses all electrical activity. This is quite different from the normal sudden cardiac arrest. The usual sudden cardiac arrest has traces of erratic electric signals which causes ventricular fibrillation or arrhythmia. These traces of electric signals allow for the use of defibrillation. Defibrillation is the use of external electric currents to stimulate the remaining electrical signals in the heart of a sudden cardiac arrest victim. This is why if using a defibrillator is not possible, calling emergency services for advanced life support and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation can potentially save the life of someone with PEA cardiac arrest.


Pulseless electrical activity does not allow the use of an automatic external defibrillator due to the lack of electric signals. An AED is a smaller version of hospital defibrillators and these smaller defibrillators can be used by anyone who is able to understand words and diagrams written on the display of the AED. Even if AED is insufficient, it is still important that establishments have it because it is very effective for those that have electric signals still in their heart.


Victims of PEA cardiac arrest should still have CPR performed on them as advanced life support can still find a way to save them. Not performing CPR truly cements the status of the victim as deceased. This is why CPR is a recommended training course for every citizen as it allows people to revive other individuals on a great number of occasions. Although minimizing the instances of these occasions with the help of changing lifestyles and choosing better nutrition can help, being alert and prepared all the time for these instances should always be considered.

PEA and Beta Blockers

Pulseless electrical activity as a cause of cardiac arrest has been getting more common, and studies claim the increase in beta blocker use has been a cause. Beta blockers are prescription medicine for those suffering from weak hearts and hypertension. Although beta blockers are effective against hypertension and other diseases that could lead to a heart attack, there are still some questions as to the effect of beta blockers to pulseless electrical activity.

It is important that people learn about pulseless electrical activity and how to deal with it so that more people can be revived and given a second chance to restore a healthy lifestyle. People should find out about ways and treatments such as nearby AED locations in their most frequented establishments. Establishment owners should invest in an AED to help those with types of cardiac arrest that can be revived. Finally, every able-bodied citizen should learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This can be done by attending a lesson in a school, learning online, with the possibility of getting certified.  By doing this, anyone can help a person that has collapsed and has no breathing or pulse. Every single life is important, so invest in these ways soon and save a life.