Cardiac collapse may occur suddenly during an operation. Identifying the cause is essential to correct the problem.


Causes of cardiac collapse during surgery:

(1) hypoxia

(1a) unsecured airway

(1b) problem with anesthesia circuit

(1c) problem with gas supply

(2) cardiac arrhythmia

(3) cardiac arrest

(4) pulseless electrical activity (ECG tracing but no palpable pulse)

(4a) massive pulmonary embolism

(4b) cardiac tamponade

(4c) tension pneumothorax

(4d) air embolism

(5) anaphylaxis from drug, latex, blood transfusion or other cause

(6) adverse drug reaction

(7) hypovelemia, especially with hemorrhage

(8) acidosis

(9) hypothermia

(10) septic or other shock


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