Charge your defibrillator before looking at the rhythm. Whether you and your partner are the first person at the patient’s side or first responders or laypeople are already doing CPR on your arrival, initiate and/or keep CPR going while you apply your pads. Then with CPR still continuing, charge the defibrillator. Only then stop CPR to look at the rhythm. VFIB or VT, shock!
If its not a shockable rhythm, simply dump the charge by pushing the speed dial button.
Make certain to tell the compressors you will not shock them as you charge. When you order them to stop so you can see the rhythm, you want your gun loaded. If you were a hunter and had a deer in your sights, you would want a bullet in your rifle, not to have to stop and load. This should be the process all through the code. Charge while CPR is in progress. At the 1 minute fifty second mark, charge so that at two minutes when you see VF or VT, you can shock, instead of starting another ten seconds of CPR before being able to fire.
Limit interruptions to CPR and limit the pauses pre and post shock.
Peri-shock pause: an independent predictor of survival from out-of-hospital shockable cardiac arrest
Stay Tuned for Cardiac Arrest Pearl #3: Make space for your cardiac arrest.