Home » Doctors: How to improve cardiac arrest survival in three easy steps
Although survival rates for people who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital are extremely low in most places, emergency physicians propose three interventions to improve survival rates and functional outcomes in any community and urge additional federal funding for cardiac resuscitation research in an editorial published online last Wednesday in Annals of Emergency Medicine (“IOM Says Times to Act to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival … Here’s How”).
“As a nation, we are falling far short in our efforts to improve survival for this exquisitely time-sensitive medical emergency,” said lead author Bentley J. Bobrow, MD, professor of emergency medicine atf the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Medical Director for the Bureau of EMS and Trauma System in Arizona. “We can and must do far better. The tools to do so are available right now and emergency physicians are uniquely positioned to lead this effort.”
Taking a cue from a recently issued set of recommendations by the Institute of Medicine for optimizing cardiac arrest care, Dr. Bobrow and his team propose three concrete steps communities and the nation can take to improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) above the current level of six percent:
The paper also identifies gross disproportional research funding for cardiac resuscitation as a significant problem, blaming public underestimation of the dangers of cardiac arrest and the lack of financial incentive for improving survival rates.
“Between 1985 and 2009, federally-funded studies per 10,000 deaths per year were 294 for stroke but only eight for cardiac resuscitation,” said Dr. Bobrow. “Before we say to families ‘we did everything we could,’ we need to make sure it is true. Funding for cardiac resuscitation research must be a national public health priority.”
Annals of Emergency Medicine is the peer-reviewed scientific journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians, the national medical society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. For more information, visit www.acep.org.
Among the articles in the March 2021 issue of ISHN magazine, we discuss fall prevention in regards to the musculoskeletal system, look into building a culture of safety, learn about NFPA 652 compliance and consider advancements in materials manufacturing.