precordial thump

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A thump delivered directly to the chest wall over the heart as the first stage in treatment of a cardiac arrest if the arrest has been witnessed (i.e. just happened) and monitored (i.e. diagnosis is immediately confirmed). The shock in that early stage can depolarize enough of the heart muscle to allow the normal pacemaker systems within the heart to take over and restore normal cardiac output.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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