UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: "Everybody clear!" before shocks

Keywords: cardioversion, defibrillation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/26/2008 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 10/21/2021)
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It is well-accepted that good, rapid compressions are one of the best interventions we can employ in managing patients with cardiac arrest. It is imperative that we minimize interruptions. Unfortunately, delivering shocks to a patient is a frequent cause of interruptions in compressions. It now appears that we may not need to discontinue compressions during shocks.

A recent study indicates that if shocks are delivered using the common self-adhesive pregelled pad electrodes and the person performing compressions is wearing gloves, the rescuers do not sense a shock at all. Compressions, therefore, do NOT have to stop during the cardioversion or defibrillation.

Whether this statement is true regarding handheld manual defibrillators also is uncertain.


Lloyd MS, Heeke B, Walter PF. Hands-on defibrillation: An analysis of electrical current flow through rescuers in direct contact with patients during biphasic external defibrillation. Circulation 2008;117:2510-2514.

Kerber RE. "I'm clear, you're clear, everybody's clear:" a tradition no longer necessary for defibrillation? Circulation 2008;117:2435-2436.