A client in cardiac arrest shows to be in torsades de pointes, and magnesium sulfate is ordered STAT. The priority nursing intervention is

  1. monitor client for bradycardia and respiratory depression.
  2. prepare client for synchronized cardioversion.
  3. monitor client for tachycardia and hyperventilation.
  4. prepare client for Swan catheter.
Number 1 is correct.
Rationale: Magnesium sulfate is a CNS depressant and can cause marked bradycardia and respiratory depression. The nursing priority is to monitor the client’s vital signs for CNS depression after this drug is administered. Tachycardia and hyperventilation are not side effects of magnesium sulfate. A Swan catheter and synchronized cardioversion are not indicated.