I would code PEA as 427.5 My rationale is:
Cardiac arrest is the abrupt halt of the pumping action of the heart. True pulseless electrical activity is a condition in which cardiac contractions are absent in the presence of coordinated electrical activity (the patient has no pulse but the EKG shows a rhythm).
To add to the confusion:
Since PEA refers to any rhythm without a pulse and the electrical activity is not identified as a specific dysrhythmia, could 427.9 be assigned?
Do you have any other documentation of the cause of the PEA, such as cardiac tamponade, tension pneumo, drug OD, hyper/hypokalemia, hypovolemia... for more specificity?
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