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Resuscitation and Survival Rates from Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Nearly Double with Comprehensive Treatment Protocol
Date:11/16/2009

tiate therapies that are unparalleled in the country. The care that this multidisciplinary team provides gives patients better outcomes than we have seen with traditional cooling alone," she said.

The team presented their findings on Nov. 14 and 15 during the Resuscitation Science Symposium at the American Heart Association Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

In a second study of 181 consecutive, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients who were successfully resuscitated in the field and brought to VCU from various EMS agencies or other hospitals throughout Central Virginia between 2001 and 2009, the study showed survival to hospital discharge was 19% in 2001-3 when standard post-resuscitation care was provided. It increased to 38% in 2004-7 when simple cooling techniques were added, but further improved to 49% in 2008-9 using the full ARCTIC strategy.

Additionally, patients whose cardiac arrest was caused by the abnormal rhythm, ventricular fibrillation (VF), now have a 72% chance of surviving to hospital discharge if treated in the ARCTIC program. The aggressive ARCTIC treatment also improved the neurological outcomes for VF patients over simple cooling alone.

Additional Background

Cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating, most commonly due to a rhythm disturbance known as ventricular fibrillation (VF). Within 10-20 seconds, the brain and other vital organs are deprived of oxygen, and the victim collapses to the ground unconscious and pulseless. Delivering an electrical shock to the heart promptly with a defibrillator can often start it beating again, but a defibrillator is not often available immediately. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can provide life sustaining blood flow and oxygen delivery to vital organs until trained rescuers can arrive and administer standard resuscitation techniques such as defibrillation, drug therapy, and other treatments. Unfortunately, survival from out-of-ho
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