Reviewing the primary uses, dosage, and anything else you need to know about the administration of magnesium sulfate to treat cardiac arrest.
Overview of Magnesium:
Magnesium sulfate is an ACLS drug that can be found in the Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm. Magnesium is a second-line antiarrhythmic drug that is used when torsades de pointes (polymorphic VT) are present. You should also consider administering magnesium when you suspect the patient is experiencing hypomagnesemia or a magnesium deficiency.
Signs of hypomagnesemia are often seen in patients who are alcoholics or have other issues with malnutrition.
Lastly, magnesium is also recommended to treat life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias due to digitalis toxicity.
- When using magnesium sulfate for torsades de pointes, use a loading dose of 1-2 g IV/IO diluted in 10 mL D 5W, given over 5-20 minutes.
- Follow with an infusion dose of 0.5-1 g/hour.
Additional Notes on Magnesium Usage:
- Rapid administration may lead to a drop in blood pressure
- Use with caution for patients with renal failure
- Very high doses can cause respiratory distress. Calcium is an antidote to reverse
- Routine administration in hospitalized patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) is not recommended
For a brief review of all the ACLS medications you should be familiar with, check out the article below. It acts as a great visual reference that will help you study more efficiently and effectively.