Last week, Dr. David Johnson shared his trick to elicit a Valsalva maneuver out of his patient. Here’s another trick that I saw one of our EM residents use in an attempt to break a SVT rhythm.
Trick of the Trade
Instruct the patient to blow into a 10 cc syringe in an effort to “blow out” the syringe plunger.1
I was amazed to find a journal article in Emergency Medicine Australia, which documented that an appropriate Valsalva force is generated when a patient is able to move the plunger of a 10 cc syringe by blowing into the syringe! Apparently larger syringes don’t generate enough force (< 40 mmHg) and smaller syringes require too much force (> 40 mmHg).