Sharp decrease in deaths from sudden cardiac arrest

November 22, 2011

Only a few decades ago, sudden cardiac arrest was a death sentence. Today, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest is saved roughly once every six hours in Sweden, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, reviewing all cases of sudden cardiac arrest over a 30-year period.

Recent decades have brought enormous advances in the treatment of victims of sudden cardiac arrest, shows a thesis from the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy which looks at 3,871 cases in Gothenburg both inside and outside hospital between 1980 and 2009.

Unique study


The thesis, in which doctoral student and registered physician Martin Fredriksson investigates both how patients were dealt with and with what outcome, includes several different studies, including three articles providing the first systematic and in-depth analysis of cardiac arrest inside hospital in Sweden. The uniqueness in the thesis is a comparative study of the same population, comparing both in-hospital and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the same background population, which is unique and has never been done before.

Defibrillators save many

A total of 1,115 people suffered cardiac arrest at Sahlgrenska University Hospital between 1994 and 2002, of whom 37% survived, and 86% of those were still alive a year later. For patients who could be treated with a defibrillator, the chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest were three times higher inside hospital than outside hospital.

Longer time to treatment outside hospital

For those who could not be treated with a defibrillator, survival was seven times higher among those in hospital. The difference is partly because it takes much longer to start defibrillation outside hospital.

"Other factors also play a role, though," says Dr Fredriksson. "For example, most patients in hospital have a type of cardiac arrest that can be treated with a defibrillator, and the quality of CPR is better in hospital where victims can quickly be given highly advanced care."

More victims outside hospital now survive

The number of people surviving cardiac arrest outside hospital has nevertheless increased over the past decade. "This is probably due to several factors, including the introduction of mechanical chest compression, but CPR by bystanders is also becoming more common, and follow-up care in hospital has improved."

9% fully survive

Of the 3,871 cases of sudden cardiac arrest reviewed, 8.8% of victims survived and could be discharged from hospital. In the subgroup of patients suffering from ventricular fibrillation, which is the kind of cardiac arrest that can be treated with a defibrillator, one in five patients could be discharged.
-end-
SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST

Sudden cardiac arrest is where the heart stops pumping, causing the victim to lose consciousness and show no signs of life. In many cases, a heart attack causes the heart to lose its normal rhythm, known as ventricular fibrillation. For the victim to survive, the heart's rhythm needs to be restored within minutes. The risk of death increases by the minute until treatment commences, so a rapid response in the form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation is vital.

University of Gothenburg

Related Cardiac Arrest Articles from Brightsurf:

Outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during COVID-19 pandemic
This study used a large US registry of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests to asses the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, including in areas with low and moderate COVID-19 disease.

Cardiac arrest is common in critically ill patients with COVID-19
Cardiac arrest is common in critically ill patients with covid-19 and is associated with poor survival, particularly among patients aged 80 or older, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

In-hospital cardiac arrest in COVID-19
Outcomes of in-hospital cardiac arrest among patients with COVID-19 are examined in this case series.

New risk tool developed for cardiac arrest patients
Experts have developed a risk score to predict cardiac arrest patient outcomes.

Intravenous sodium nitrite ineffective for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
Among patients who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, intravenous sodium nitrite given by paramedics during resuscitation did not significantly improve their chances of being admitted to or discharged from the hospital alive, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).

Getting to the heart of epinephrine use in pediatric cardiac arrest patients
The effectiveness of epinephrine treatment during resuscitation of adult patients with cardiac arrest is generally promising, but little is known about its effects in pediatric patients.

Bystanders can help more cardiac arrest victims survive
Only 8% of Americans survive cardiac arrest outside a hospital, but that percentage could increase significantly if bystanders recognize cardiac arrest and perform simple lifesaving tasks, a UVA Health physician says in a New England Journal of Medicine article.

Opioid-related cardiac arrest patients differ from other cardiac arrests
People who suffer cardiac arrest due to an opioid overdose are younger, have fewer chronic medical conditions and may be more likely to be to receive bystander CPR, according to a review of emergency response records in Maine.

Selective coronary angiography following cardiac arrest
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Sudden cardiac arrest in athletes: Prevention and management
It's marathon season, and every so often a news report will focus on an athlete who has collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest.

Read More: Cardiac Arrest News and Cardiac Arrest Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.