UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Administration

Title: Femoral arterial doppler during cardiac arrest

Keywords: POCUS, Cardiac Arrest, Arterial Doppler (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/15/2023 by Alexis Salerno, MD (Updated: 7/12/2024)
Click here to contact Alexis Salerno, MD

Did you know that you can use the linear probe with pulse wave (PW) doppler over the femoral artery to look for a pulse during CPR pauses? 


Well, the researchers of this article took this skill one step further to evaluate if they could use the femoral artery PW doppler while CPR was in progress to look for signs of a pulse.  


The authors found that: 

- pulsations due to compressions were organized with uniform pulsations.  

- when there was also native cardiac activity, the pulsations were nonuniform and may have an irregular cadence 


Although there were several limitations, Arterial doppler was 100% specific and 50% sensitive in detecting organized cardiac activity during active CPR.  


Take Home Point: Take a look at your arterial doppler for signs of organized cardiac activity during a resuscitation. 



Reference: Gaspari RJ, Lindsay R, Dowd A, Gleeson T. Femoral Arterial Doppler Use During Active Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Ann Emerg Med. 2023 May;81(5):523-531. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2022.12.002. Epub 2023 Feb 7. PMID: 36754697.