Defibrillator electrode-chest wall coupling agents: influence on transthoracic impedance and shock success

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1985 Sep;6(3):682-6. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(85)80131-5.


The purpose of this study was to determine if the difference in transthoracic impedance produced by different coupling agents affects the success of shocks for defibrillation. Three different coupling agents, Harco pads (Hewlett-Packard), Littman pads (3M) and Redux paste (Hewlett-Packard), were assessed in 10 anesthetized dogs in which ventricular fibrillation was induced by electrical stimulation of the right ventricle. Defibrillation was attempted 15 seconds later, using 50, 100 and 150 joules (selected energy). Actual delivered energy, current, impedance and the percent of the shocks that achieved defibrillation were determined for the three coupling agents. Redux paste gave significantly lower impedance and higher current than the two disposable performed coupling pads tested. Despite this, there were no significant differences in shock success among the three coupling agents. Thus, in this experimental model, over a three-fold energy range, disposable coupling pads were as effective as electrode paste for defibrillation despite the slightly higher impedance of the disposable pads.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols*
  • Animals
  • Disposable Equipment*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Combinations
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electric Countershock*
  • Electrodes*
  • Ointments*


  • Alcohols
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ointments
  • Redux electrode cream