The efficacy of self-adhesive electrode pads for defibrillation and cardioversion was assessed in 80 patients who received 267 shocks from self-adhesive pads. In all but two patients, defibrillation or cardioversion was achieved at least once. The pads were equally effective when used in the apex-anterior or apex-posterior position. The transthoracic impedance using self-adhesive pads was 75 +/- 21 ohms (mean +/- standard deviation), which is similar to previously reported transthoracic impedance in defibrillation, using standard hand-held electrode paddles of 67 +/- 36 ohms. It is concluded that self-adhesive electrode pads are effective for defibrillation and cardioversion.