Heart attack not a death sentence

July 18, 2008

Survivors of cardiac arrest who received intensive care can expect long-term quality of life at reasonable expense to the health care system. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care is the first to show that the allocation of resources to the treatment of heart attack patients is equally as justified as the treatment of other intensive care patient groups.

More than 600,000 people in Europe suffer cardiac arrest each year. Following successful CPR, patients are routinely admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). Although ICUs only care for a minority of patients, they consume a large proportion of hospital budgets.

The lead author of the study, Juergen Graf from the Philipps-University Marburg, Germany, said, "economic constraints create pressure to ration ICU care. Restricting the demand for futile medical services by limiting access to the ICU, at least for those patients likely to die anyway, has been proposed as a way of lowering expenditures".

In order to investigate this, Graf and his colleagues conducted an assessment of health status of patients five years after discharge from the ICU of Medical Clinic I, University Hospital Aachen, and combined this with a fully costed economic evaluation. Of 354 patients admitted to the ICU with cardiac arrest, 204 died prior to discharge from the hospital. Of the 150 remaining, 40 died before year five, leaving 110 patients (31%) eligible for the survey. The total costs for the ICU treatment of all 354 patients amounted to more than 6.3million euros.

According to Graf, "This is approximately double the cost of an average ICU patient, but it does compare favorably to a variety of other routine interventions such as mechanical ventilation or kidney dialysis". Furthermore, patients who survived cardiac arrest do not necessarily have as bleak a prognosis as is often anticipated. As the authors explain, "The health-related quality of life five years after discharge was only slightly lower than healthy controls of the same age and gender of the patients".

Graf concludes, "Our study is the first to demonstrate that patients who survive cardiac arrest without severe neurological disabilities may expect fair long-term survival and a good quality of life for reasonable expenses to the health care system".

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Stress hormone may identify family members likely to suffer from anxiety after loved one's ICU care

Related Stories

Stress hormone may identify family members likely to suffer from anxiety after loved one's ICU care

December 11, 2017
When a loved one has been hospitalized in intensive care for a critical illness, many family members experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress or other negative effects lasting months, according to new research ...

CAR T, immunotherapy bring new hope for multiple myeloma patients

December 11, 2017
Two investigational immunotherapy approaches, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, have shown encouraging results in the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who had relapsed and were resistant to other ...

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

Global CAR T therapy trial shows high rates of durable remission for NHL

December 10, 2017
In a pair of clinical trials stretching from Philadelphia to Tokyo, the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy Kymriah (formerly known as CTL019) demonstrated long-lasting remissions in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) ...

Reducing light and noise made a psychiatric ICU unit calmer and safer, study says

December 5, 2017
Turning down the lights and reducing noise levels as part of a stimulation reduction initiative can decrease assaults and the amount of time patients must spend in restraint at psychiatric intensive care units, according ...

Critical Care Recovery Center concept could benefit adult ICU survivors of all ages

November 14, 2017
A growing number of individuals of all ages are surviving intensive care unit hospitalization, however their mental and physical health problems persist. A new study from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University researchers ...

Recommended for you

Urine test developed to test for tuberculosis

December 14, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has developed a urine test that can be used to detect tuberculosis (TB) in human patients. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

40 years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection

December 14, 2017
Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks, according to a new study ...

Lactic acid bacteria can protect against Influenza A virus, study finds

December 13, 2017
Lactic acid bacteria, commonly used as probiotics to improve digestive health, can offer protection against different subtypes of influenza A virus, resulting in reduced weight loss after virus infection and lower amounts ...

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection

December 13, 2017
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, today announced results of two papers published in the peer-reviewed journals PLOS ONE and American Journal of Pathology, that seem to support ...

Aging impairs innate immune response to flu

December 13, 2017
Aging impairs the immune system's response to the flu virus in multiple ways, weakening resistance in older adults, according to a Yale study. The research reveals why older people are at increased risk of illness and death ...

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.