Q. Why does the pulse rate fall in a 4-year-old after administration of Epinephrine?

Answered by
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
and medically reviewed by Dr. Nithila A
Published on Jun 09, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am reviewing the patient care of a 4-year-old child diagnosed with the flu. He was having trouble breathing, so we called an ambulance. I was very apprehensive about him receiving any drugs from a doctor. His pulse was 149, 161, and 150. The medic then said his pulse was falling, which I did not see. He then requested an order to give Epinephrine, which does not make sense to me. His pulse rate then fell quickly. What is your opinion?

Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim

Child Health Paediatrics


Welcome to icliniq.com.

An ECG should have been done immediately to see if the child was having VT, SVT, or anything else that would require you to slow down the heart. Based on the ECG, the next step could have been planned. This is because you have only written to me about the heart rate. The other aspects, like breathing and circulation (blood pressure), also decide the modality of treatment. Does it make sense to give epinephrine to a child having tachycardia? However, if there was no pulse afterward, epinephrine should be given at that particular time.

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