Is emergency department resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims who arrive pulseless worthwhile?

Lawrence M. Lewis, Brent Rouff, Carol Rush, Joseph C. Stothert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is still a common practice to continue unsuccessful field resuscitations in the emergency department (ED) even after prolonged estimated down times. The authors studied patients who arrested in the field and did not regain a pulse before their arrival in the ED to determine if any ever leave the hospital neurologically intact. All cardiac arrests in the urban St Louis area that were brought to our facility over a 2 1 2-year period by advanced life support units (excluding all patients with hypothermia, drug overdose, near drowning, and traumatic cardiac arrest) were reviewed. Of 243 such patients 32 (13%) arrived with a pulse. Twenty-three of these patients were admitted and 10 discharged alive, 7 were neurologically intact. Out of 211 patients who arrived without a pulse, 24 (11%) developed a pulse with further resuscitative efforts in the ED. Eighteen of these patients were admitted but only one was discharged neurologically intact. The only survivor in the group without a pulse arrested while en route to the ED. It is concluded that cardiac arrest victims who arrive in the ED without a pulse on arrival or en route have almost no chance of functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-120
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1990

Keywords

  • Cardiac arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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