From MedPage Today:
When performed by EMS personnel, a new approach to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) substantially improves the survival rate for most patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, according to researchers.
The new approach, dubbed cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR), emphasizes fast, forceful chest compressions to get blood moving through the body over airway management, said Michael J. Kellum, M.D., of the University of Arizona College of Medicine here.
Compared with standard CPR, the new approach nearly tripled survival rates during a one-year study, Dr. Kellum and colleagues reported online in the American Journal of Medicine.
The Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services Bureau teamed with the University of Arizona researchers to test the new protocol in two Wisconsin counties during 2004 and 2005.
During the previous three-year control period, when standard CPR was used, there were 92 adult patients with witnessed cardiac arrests and an initially “shockable” rhythm. Eighteen of these patients (20%) survived, and 14 (15%) survived neurologically intact.
After the CCR protocol was initiated, there were 33 such patients. Nineteen (57%) survived, and 16 (48%) survived neurologically intact. The differences in both total survival and neurologically normal survival were statistically significant (P=0.001).
With CCR, first responders skip the first steps of the standard protocol: intubating the patient for ventilation and delivering a shock using a defibrillator. While still attaching the victim to a defibrillator, they do not wait for the device to analyze the patient’s heart rhythm, but start fast, forceful chest compressions.