Navigation Links
Adrenaline Therapy for Cardiac Arrest Linked to Worse Outcomes

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- The decades-old practice of treating cardiac arrest patients with epinephrine -- adrenaline -- might do more harm than good in the long run, suggests a new analysis of hundreds of thousands of cases.

Japanese researchers found that cardiac arrest patients given epinephrine were more likely to survive one month, compared with those who didn't get the treatment. But when the investigators adjusted their figures statistically so they wouldn't be thrown off by various factors, the patients who got epinephrine actually became less likely to survive a month.

And among those given epinephrine who did survive, only one-quarter of them were in good shape neurologically a month later, the study authors noted.

On the other hand, the patients who received the drug were more likely to have their pulses restored before they got to the hospital, according to the report published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Clifton Callaway, an executive vice chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh who wrote an accompanying journal editorial, said the new findings raise questions about the routine use of the drug.

"We need to figure out why those patients aren't doing well," Callaway said. "It improves that likelihood that we'll get the heartbeat back, but it looks like we're paying a price."

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart fails to beat properly. It's not the same as a heart attack, although a heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest.

Physicians and paramedics often use epinephrine in conjunction with cardioversion -- the shocking of the heart with electricity -- to restore the heart to its normal rhythm in patients with cardiac arrest.

Although the drug was once given directly to the heart through a long needle, that doesn't happen anymore, Callaway said. The new study examined its use as an intravenous treatment.

The study looked at nearly 420,000 cases of cardiac arrest that occurred in Japan between 2005 and 2008 in adults. The patients were all treated by emergency personnel and taken to hospitals.

It was fairly uncommon for patients to receive epinephrine during the time period. For some of that time, emergency medical personnel who weren't doctors couldn't legally administer it in Japan.

When epinephrine was given to patients, the unadjusted results showed that 5.4 percent were still alive a month later, compared with 4.7 percent of those who didn't get the treatment. This isn't unusual, as cardiac arrest patients rarely survive.

Of those who did survive and had received epinephrine, only 25 percent did well neurologically. That's substantially lower than in patients who didn't receive epinephrine in other studies, the researchers wrote.

"This finding implies that epinephrine administration might save the heart but not the brain," study lead author Dr. Akihito Hagihara, a professor in the department of health services, management and policy at Kyushu University Graduate School of Medicine in Fukuoka City, and colleagues wrote.

Previous research has linked epinephrine to irregular heartbeats, disruptions in the functioning of the heart and disrupted circulation in the brain, Hagihara pointed out. "Negative effects might be due to these," he said.

Hagihara suggested that it's not time to abandon epinephrine entirely because the study findings still need to be verified.

While the study found an association between epinephrine for cardiac arrest and poor survival and neurological outcomes, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

For more about cardiac arrest, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Clifton W. Callaway, M.D., executive vice chair, department of emergency medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Akihito Hagihara, M.P.H., professor, department of health services, management and policy, Kyushu University Graduate School of Medicine, Fukuoka City, Japan; March 21, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Treat Snakebites With Adrenaline, Study Says
2. Stem Cell Therapy Could Boost Kidney Transplant Success: Study
3. Study Explains How Shock Therapy Might Ease Severe Depression
4. Cytori breast reconstruction cell therapy trial results published
5. Study finds expensive procedure no more effective than medical therapy to prevent strokes
6. Estrogen-Only Therapy May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
7. Internet-based therapy relieves persistent tinnitus
8. New universal platform for cancer immunotherapy developed by Penn-led team
9. A culprit behind brain tumor resistance to therapy
10. How chemotherapy becomes more effective
11. New approach to stroke therapy
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Adrenaline Therapy for Cardiac Arrest Linked to Worse Outcomes
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast cancers found with MRI ... to a study published online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said that in ... a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the most sensitive technique for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... As part ... For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents and resources ... key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with family ... of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at home ... recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ,     Ingredients: ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, ... through Christmas Eve on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , ... Nordic Spruce is the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one of the ... stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a finalist among ... was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater Cincinnati Best ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... global healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate ... has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, and ... is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. Federal government ... 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure increased by ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... License Application (BLA) with the United States ... ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® ... biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: