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Concept: Asystole


Background Targeted temperature management is recommended for comatose adults and children after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; however, data on temperature management after in-hospital cardiac arrest are limited. Methods In a trial conducted at 37 children’s hospitals, we compared two temperature interventions in children who had had in-hospital cardiac arrest. Within 6 hours after the return of circulation, comatose children older than 48 hours and younger than 18 years of age were randomly assigned to therapeutic hypothermia (target temperature, 33.0°C) or therapeutic normothermia (target temperature, 36.8°C). The primary efficacy outcome, survival at 12 months after cardiac arrest with a score of 70 or higher on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, second edition (VABS-II, on which scores range from 20 to 160, with higher scores indicating better function), was evaluated among patients who had had a VABS-II score of at least 70 before the cardiac arrest. Results The trial was terminated because of futility after 329 patients had undergone randomization. Among the 257 patients who had a VABS-II score of at least 70 before cardiac arrest and who could be evaluated, the rate of the primary efficacy outcome did not differ significantly between the hypothermia group and the normothermia group (36% [48 of 133 patients] and 39% [48 of 124 patients], respectively; relative risk, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.67 to 1.27; P=0.63). Among 317 patients who could be evaluated for change in neurobehavioral function, the change in VABS-II score from baseline to 12 months did not differ significantly between the groups (P=0.70). Among 327 patients who could be evaluated for 1-year survival, the rate of 1-year survival did not differ significantly between the hypothermia group and the normothermia group (49% [81 of 166 patients] and 46% [74 of 161 patients], respectively; relative risk, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.34; P=0.56). The incidences of blood-product use, infection, and serious adverse events, as well as 28-day mortality, did not differ significantly between groups. Conclusions Among comatose children who survived in-hospital cardiac arrest, therapeutic hypothermia, as compared with therapeutic normothermia, did not confer a significant benefit in survival with a favorable functional outcome at 1 year. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; THAPCA-IH number, NCT00880087 .).

Concepts: Heart, Relative risk, Cardiac arrest, Asystole, Therapeutic hypothermia, Harshad number, Hebrew numerals, Drowning


Approximately 300,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually in the United States. Less than 30% of out-of-hospital victims receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) despite the American Heart Association training over 12 million laypersons annually to conduct CPR. New engaging learning methods are needed for CPR education, especially in schools. Massively multiplayer virtual worlds (MMVW) offer platforms for serious games that are promising learning methods that take advantage of the computer capabilities of today’s youth (ie, the digital native generation).

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Asystole, Drowning, Respiratory arrest, American Heart Association


Mechanical chest compression devices have the potential to help maintain high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but despite their increasing use, little evidence exists for their effectiveness. We aimed to study whether the introduction of LUCAS-2 mechanical CPR into front-line emergency response vehicles would improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Asystole


Our purpose was to analyze evidence related to timing of cooling from studies of targeted temperature management (TTM) after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after cardiac arrest and to recommend directions for future therapy optimization. We conducted a preliminary review of studies of both animals and patients treated with post-ROSC TTM and hypothesized that a more rapid cooling strategy in the absence of volume-adding cold infusions would provide improved outcomes in comparison with slower cooling. We defined rapid cooling as the achievement of 34°C within 3.5 hours of ROSC without the use of volume-adding cold infusions, with a ≥3.0°C/hour rate of cooling. Using the PubMed database and a previously published systematic review, we identified clinical studies published from 2002 through 2014 related to TTM. Analysis included studies with time from collapse to ROSC of 20-30 minutes, reporting of time from ROSC to target temperature and rate of patients in ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, and hypothermia maintained for 20-24 hours. The use of cardiopulmonary bypass as a cooling method was an exclusion criterion for this analysis. We compared all rapid cooling studies with all slower cooling studies of ≥100 patients. Eleven studies were initially identified for analysis, comprising 4091 patients. Two additional studies totaling 609 patients were added based on availability of unpublished data, bringing the total to 13 studies of 4700 patients. Outcomes for patients, dichotomized into faster and slower cooling approaches, were determined using weighted linear regression using IBM SPSS Statistics software. Rapid cooling without volume-adding cold infusions yielded a higher rate of good neurological recovery than slower cooling methods. Attainment of a temperature below 34°C within 3.5 hours of ROSC and using a cooling rate of more than 3°C/hour appear to be beneficial.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Asystole, Ventricular tachycardia, SPSS, Ventricular fibrillation, Defibrillation


Background During cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the interruption of manual chest compressions for rescue breathing reduces blood flow and possibly survival. We assessed whether outcomes after continuous compressions with positive-pressure ventilation differed from those after compressions that were interrupted for ventilations at a ratio of 30 compressions to two ventilations. Methods This cluster-randomized trial with crossover included 114 emergency medical service (EMS) agencies. Adults with non-trauma-related cardiac arrest who were treated by EMS providers received continuous chest compressions (intervention group) or interrupted chest compressions (control group). The primary outcome was the rate of survival to hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes included the modified Rankin scale score (on a scale from 0 to 6, with a score of ≤3 indicating favorable neurologic function). CPR process was measured to assess compliance. Results Of 23,711 patients included in the primary analysis, 12,653 were assigned to the intervention group and 11,058 to the control group. A total of 1129 of 12,613 patients with available data (9.0%) in the intervention group and 1072 of 11,035 with available data (9.7%) in the control group survived until discharge (difference, -0.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.5 to 0.1; P=0.07); 7.0% of the patients in the intervention group and 7.7% of those in the control group survived with favorable neurologic function at discharge (difference, -0.6 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.4 to 0.1, P=0.09). Hospital-free survival was significantly shorter in the intervention group than in the control group (mean difference, -0.2 days; 95% CI, -0.3 to -0.1; P=0.004). Conclusions In patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, continuous chest compressions during CPR performed by EMS providers did not result in significantly higher rates of survival or favorable neurologic function than did interrupted chest compressions. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ROC CCC number, NCT01372748 .).

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Asystole, First aid, Emergency medical services, Drowning, Artificial respiration, Respiratory arrest


 To evaluate whether patients who experience cardiac arrest in hospital receive epinephrine (adrenaline) within the two minutes after the first defibrillation (contrary to American Heart Association guidelines) and to evaluate the association between early administration of epinephrine and outcomes in this population.

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Asystole, Epinephrine


Background Early defibrillation plays a key role in improving survival in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests due to ventricular fibrillation (ventricular-fibrillation cardiac arrests), and the use of publicly accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can help to reduce the time to defibrillation for such patients. However, the effect of dissemination of public-access AEDs for ventricular-fibrillation cardiac arrest at the population level has not been extensively investigated. Methods From a nationwide, prospective, population-based registry of patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Japan, we identified patients from 2005 through 2013 with bystander-witnessed ventricular-fibrillation arrests of presumed cardiac origin in whom resuscitation was attempted. The primary outcome measure was survival at 1 month with a favorable neurologic outcome (Cerebral Performance Category of 1 or 2, on a scale from 1 [good cerebral performance] to 5 [death or brain death]). The number of patients in whom survival with a favorable neurologic outcome was attributable to public-access defibrillation was estimated. Results Of 43,762 patients with bystander-witnessed ventricular-fibrillation arrests of cardiac origin, 4499 (10.3%) received public-access defibrillation. The percentage of patients receiving public-access defibrillation increased from 1.1% in 2005 to 16.5% in 2013 (P<0.001 for trend). The percentage of patients who were alive at 1 month with a favorable neurologic outcome was significantly higher with public-access defibrillation than without public-access defibrillation (38.5% vs. 18.2%; adjusted odds ratio after propensity-score matching, 1.99; 95% confidence interval, 1.80 to 2.19). The estimated number of survivors in whom survival with a favorable neurologic outcome was attributed to public-access defibrillation increased from 6 in 2005 to 201 in 2013 (P<0.001 for trend). Conclusions In Japan, increased use of public-access defibrillation by bystanders was associated with an increase in the number of survivors with a favorable neurologic outcome after out-of-hospital ventricular-fibrillation cardiac arrest.

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Asystole, Ventricular tachycardia, Ventricular fibrillation, Defibrillation, Automated external defibrillator, Fibrillation


The survival rate of sudden Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCAs) increases by early notification of Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) and early application of basic life support (BLS) techniques and defibrillation. A Text Message ™ alert system for trained volunteers in the community was implemented in the Netherlands to reduce response times. The aim of this study was to assess if this system improves survival after OHCA.

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Asystole, Emergency medical services, Emergency medical technician, Prostitution in the Netherlands, North Sea, Basic life support


To evaluate whether the distance from the site of event to an invasive heart centre, acute coronary angiography (CAG)/percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and hospital-level of care (invasive heart centre vs. local hospital) is associated with survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Cardiology, Heart, Atheroma, Cardiac arrest, Asystole, Artery, Coronary circulation


Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is associated with increased survival from cardiac arrest, yet bystander CPR rates are low in many communities. The overall prevalence of CPR training in the United States and associated individual-level disparities are unknown. We sought to measure the national prevalence of CPR training and hypothesized that older age and lower socioeconomic status would be independently associated with a lower likelihood of CPR training.

Concepts: Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Asystole