Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Temporary transvenous pacing: endangered skill
  1. Sumeet Sharma1,
  2. Belinda Sandler1,
  3. Christos Cristopoulos1,
  4. Smriti Saraf1,
  5. Vias Markides2,3,
  6. Diana A Gorog1,2
  1. 1Department of cardiology, East and North Herts NHS Trust, Welwyn Garden City, UK
  2. 2Department of cardiology, Imperial College, London, UK
  3. 3Department of cardiology, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Diana A Gorog, Department of Cardiology, East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Welwyn Garden City, AL 7 4HQ, UK; d.gorog{at}


Background Temporary cardiac pacing although is an essential requirement for core medical training (CMT) in UK, there are no defined training measures and guidelines available as to who should perform this.

Methods We conducted an anonymous survey of 300 non-cardiology medical registrars regarding their individual ability, experience and training received in temporary pacing wire (TPW) insertion.

Results A total of 202 (67%) responses were received. 61% (123) had not performed any TPW insertion before becoming a registrar. Only18% (38) felt confident in inserting a TPW unsupervised and only14 (7%) had ever received any formal training. The majority, 169 (84%), did not feel that their on-call consultant general physician would be able to perform the procedure.

Conclusion This survey shows that general medical registrars lack a major life-saving skill that is required as part of CMT. Thus, there is now an urgent clinical governance need to either formally train physicians or abandon the concept and practice of general internal medicine-led temporary pacing, and devolve this to cardiologists.

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • cardiac care
  • arrhythmia
  • resuscitation
  • training

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Additional appendices are published online only. To view these files please visit the journal online (

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.