UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Sodium bicarbonate in pediatric cardiac arrests

Keywords: pediatric, cardiac arrest, metabolic acidosis, sodium bicarbonate (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/21/2021 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 9/24/2021)
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During cardiac arrest, metabolic acidosis develops because of hypoxia-induced anaerobic metabolism and decreased acid excretion caused by inadequate renal perfusion.  Sodium bicarbonate (SB) administration was considered as a buffer therapy to correct metabolic acidosis.  However,  SB has several side effects such as hypernatremia, metabolic alkalosis, hypocalcemia, hypercapnia, impairment of tissue oxygenation, intracellular acidosis, hyperosmolarity, and increased lactate production.  The 2010 Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) guideline stated that routine administration of SB was not recommended for cardiac arrest except in special resuscitation situations, such as hyperkalemia or certain toxidromes.  An evidence update was conducted in the 2020 Pediatric Life Support (PLS) guideline and the recommendations of 2010 remain valid.  This article was a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies of pediatric in hospital cardiac arrests.  The primary outcome was the rate of survival to hospital discharge after in hospital cardiac arrests. The secondary outcomes were the 24-hour survival rate and neurological outcomes.   

 
Bottom line: The result of this study supports current PLS guidelines that “routine administration of SB  is not recommended in pediatric cardiac arrest in the absence of hyperkalemia or sodium channel blocker (eg. tricyclic antidepressant) toxicity”.

References

Chih-Yao Chang, Po-Han Wu, Cheng-Ting Hsiao, Chia-Peng Chang, Yi-Chuan Chen, Kai-Hsiang Wu.  Sodium bicarbonate administration during in-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Resuscitation.  2021.  Available on line March 1.  In Press.