Why is carotid massage done?

Carotid sinus massage is a major diagnostic test for carotid sinus hypersensitivity, which may be manifested as dizziness or syncope. Carotid sinus massage is also used in emergency settings to diagnose or treat paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.

What does a carotid massage do?

Carotid sinus massage (CSM) is performed to terminate some supraventricular tachycardias (SVTs), such as AV node reentry and AV reentry SVTs. It may also be useful for sinoatrial (SA) reentrant SVT. CSM can be helpful to diagnose the atrial rhythm during a tachycardia by producing AV block.

What is often caused by carotid massage?

Carotid sinus hypersensitivity is an exaggerated response to pressure applied to the carotid sinus located in the carotid bifurcation, resulting in bradycardia, vasodilation, and hypotension. This response is manifested clinically as syncope or presyncope and can cause fatal consequences.

Is carotid massage still used?

Carotid sinus massage for diagnosis and termination of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is still a widely used vagal manoeuvre in the A&E department.

Can nurses perform carotid massage?

04 In reference to agenda item 3a, it is within the realm of nursing practice for a registered nurse to perform carotid massage within the presence of the physician, in an I.C.U. or telemetry setting, or in the absence of the physician in either setting, provided the registered nurse has knowledge, preparation and …

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Can carotid massage cause death?

Carotid sinus reflex death is a potential etiology of sudden death in which manual stimulation of the carotid sinus allegedly causes strong glossopharyngeal nerve (Vagus nerve is for aortic arch baroreceptors) impulses leading to terminal cardiac arrest.

What happens if you press too hard on the carotid artery?

Do not press on the carotid artery on both sides of your neck at the same time. This may cause you to feel lightheaded or dizzy, or possibly faint. Apply just enough pressure so you can feel each beat. Do not push too hard or you will obstruct the blood flow.

What happens when you press carotid artery?

If you press gently on either side of your windpipe, in your neck, you may feel pulsations from the carotid arteries. Like any artery in the body, the carotid arteries may become diseased and blocked inside, either partly or completely.

How can I increase my vagal tone?

Singing, Humming, Chanting and Gargling



The vagus nerve is connected to your vocal cords and the muscles at the back of your throat. Singing, humming, chanting and gargling can activate these muscles and stimulate your vagus nerve. And this has been shown to increase heart-rate variability and vagal tone (12).

How do you get a vagal baby?

For babies or young children who can’t follow these directions, vagal maneuvers include:

  1. Place an ice pack over the eyes for 15-30 sec. A frozen bag of vegetables works really well. Avoid placing anything around the infant’s nose.
  2. Pressing the infant’s knees to the chest for 15-30 seconds.
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When should you not do carotid massage?

Absolute contraindications to carotid sinus massage include myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack or stroke within the preceding three months. A history of ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia, or a previous adverse reaction to carotid sinus massage are also absolute contraindications.

Why is simultaneous massage of both sides of the carotid sinus not recommended?

Rarely, performing CSM in patients with carotid artery disease may induce transient or permanent neurological symptoms. Simultaneous bilateral CSM is contraindicated, given the risk of compromising cerebral circulation.

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