The precordial thump is recommended for witnessed and monitored ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia (VF/VT) cardiac arrest when a defibrillator is not immediately available.
Haman et al investigated the precordial thump in patients in whom VT or VF was initiated during an electrophysiological study, applying a single thump after initiation of ventricular arrhythmia in 155 patients. This terminated the tachycardia in two (1.3%) patients.
Pellis et al investigated the precordial thump as an initial measure by paramedics in 144 patients in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, irrespective of the initial rhythm. Three patients had return of spontaneous circulation and two were discharged alive.
Precordial thump efficacy in termination of induced ventricular arrhythmias
Utility of pre-cordial thump for treatment of out of hospital cardiac arrest: a prospective study