Adjunctive Modalities and Management
treatments depend on whether the disorder is acute or chronic as well as on the
cause of the dysrhythmia and its actual or potential hemodynamic effects.
dysrhythmias may be treated with medications or with external electrical
therapy. Many antiarrhythmic medications are used to treat atrial and
ventricular tachydysrhythmias. These medications are summarized in Table 27-1.
The choice of med-ication depends on the specific dysrhythmia, presence of
cardiac failure and other diseases, and the patient’s response to previous
treatment. The nurse is responsible for monitoring and docu-menting the
patient’s responses to the medication and for mak-ing sure that the patient has
the knowledge and ability to manage the medication regimen.
medications alone are ineffective in eradicating or decreas-ing the
dysrhythmia, certain adjunctive mechanical therapies are available. The most
common are pacemakers for bradycardias and tachycardias, elective cardioversion
and defibrillation for acute tachydysrhythmia, and implantable devices for
chronic tachy-dysrhythmia. Surgical treatments, although less common, are also