Changes needed to improve in-hospital cardiac arrest care, survival

March 11, 2013, American Heart Association

Policy and practice changes by healthcare institutions, providers and others could greatly improve medical care and improve survival for people who have a sudden cardiac arrest in the hospital, according to an American Heart Association consensus statement in its journal, Circulation.

Each year, more than 200,000 adults and 6,000 children have in-hospital cardiac arrests, and survival has remained essentially unchanged for decades, statement authors said. According to the , only 24.2 percent of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients survive to .

Much more could be done to improve in-hospital cardiac arrest care by providers, institutions and the healthcare system, authors said.

A big obstacle to better care for in-hospital cardiac arrest is the inability to gather reliable data, said Laurie Morrison, M.D., M.Sc., statement lead author. "We must be able to count how many in-hospital cardiac arrests occur and report comparable outcomes across institutions—and apply the science to everyday care more quickly," said Morrison, also the Robert and Dorothy Pitts Chair in Acute Care & Emergency Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

The statement's key recommendations include:

  • Establishing competency of all hospital staff in recognizing a cardiac arrest, performing chest compressions and using an automated external defibrillator or AED.
  • Ensuring that best practices are used in all stages of care for cardiac arrest.
  • Requiring that all in-hospital cardiac arrests be reported, with survival data, using consistent definitions across hospitals. Definitions currently are not standardized, researchers said.
  • Mandating that hospitals report rates per 1,000 admissions of do-not-attempt-to-resuscitate orders among patients before an arrest occurs. Variation in reporting and implementing these orders can dramatically skew data about patient outcomes.
  • Modifying billing codes to allow collection of more specific and accurate data for in-hospital . The authors also suggest separate guidelines for in-hospital versus out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

Explore further: 200,000 patients treated for cardiac arrest annually in US hospitals, study shows

Related Stories

200,000 patients treated for cardiac arrest annually in US hospitals, study shows

June 24, 2011
More than 200,000 people are treated for cardiac arrest in United States hospitals each year, a rate that may be on the rise. The findings are reported online this week in Critical Care Medicine in a University of Pennsylvania ...

Survival predictors of cardiac arrest in the ICU

August 15, 2011
The type of cardiac arrest suffered by patients in intensive care units (ICUs) may predict their long-term survival rate, states a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Adrenaline use in cardiac arrest

July 26, 2011
Adrenaline has kept its place in cardiac arrest guidelines despite limited evidence for or against its use. The PACA (Placebo versus Adrenaline versus Cardiac Arrest) study by Jacobs and colleagues, soon to be published in ...

Black cardiac arrest patients more likely to be admitted to hospitals with lowest survival rates

April 29, 2011
Black cardiac arrest victims are more likely to die when they're treated in hospitals that care for a large black population than when they're brought to hospitals with a greater proportion of white patients, according to ...

Recommended for you

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018
Location. Location. Location.

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.