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Valsalva using a syringe: pressure and variation
  1. Hilary Sarah Thornton1,
  2. Mohammed H Elwan2,
  3. Joseph A Reynolds1,
  4. Timothy J Coats1
  1. 1Emergency Medicine Academic Group, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hilary Sarah Thornton, c/o Emergency Medicine Academic Group, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Level G Jarvis Building RMO, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK; hy8hst{at}hyms.ac.uk

Abstract

Background The Valsalva manoeuvre is commonly used in EDs to terminate supraventricular tachycardia by the patient blowing into a syringe.

Aim To identify whether a specific syringe size can be recommended for use in the ED.

Results 20% of syringes ‘stuck’ and required high pressures to move. In the remaining 80% of syringes, a 20 mL syringe was the most appropriate size to achieve the recommended 40 mm Hg. Once ‘released’ plunger position did not make a difference.

Conclusions Use of a syringe of any size cannot be recommended if a consistent pressure is required.

  • emergency department
  • treatment
  • arrythmia

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