Treatment guidelines lead to increase in survival rate for cardiac arrest patients

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Washington, May 31 : The new guidelines suggested by the American Heart Association (AHA) on use of compression, ventilation and induced hypothermia on cardiac arrest patients has led to a significant improvement in survival rates, says a new study.

The study led by Drs. Paul Hinchey, Brent Myers of the Wake County EMS System in Raleigh, N.C. found that when, the treatment protocol was fully implemented it increased the odds of survival nearly four-fold for victims of cardiac arrest.

The results were based on the outcomes of adults treated for cardiac arrest by emergency responders in an urban/suburban emergency medical services system with existing advanced life support.

The authors highlighted the benefits of a healthcare community being able to implement a comprehensive care plan for victims of cardiac arrest "from the living room of the victim's home to the intensive care unit (ICU)."

The essential elements of this plan were a focus on simple, continuous cardiac compressions, controlled ventilations, early utilization of induced hypothermia and transport of resuscitated patients to specialized post-resuscitation hospitals.

"Our findings not only demonstrate beneficial outcomes for victims of cardiac arrest, but also suggest the possibility that such treatment plans can be implemented for other medical conditions," said the authors.

The paper was presented at the 2008 SAEM Annual Meeting.

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