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Benefit of IV Drugs in Out-of-Hospital Resuscitation Studied

Intravenous drug administration does not improve survival odds for cardiac arrest

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous administration of drugs during out-of-hospital treatment for cardiac arrest does not improve the odds of survival, according to a study published in the Nov. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Theresa M. Olasveengen, M.D., of Oslo University Hospital in Norway, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial of 851 patients treated out-of-hospital for non-traumatic cardiac arrest, of whom 418 were treated using advanced cardiac life support with intravenous access and drug administration, while 433 were given the same treatment but with no intravenous access and drug administration.

The rate of hospital admission with return of spontaneous circulation was 32 percent for the intravenous drug group versus 21 percent for the drug-free group, and the one-year survival rate was 10 and 8 percent for the two groups, respectively, the researchers found. The survival-to-hospital-discharge rate was 10.5 percent for the intravenous drug group and 9.2 percent for the drug-free group, but this evened out after adjusting for confounding factors.

"Despite improved short-term survival among patients randomized to receive intravenous access and drug administration, these nearly universal interventions were not associated with a statistically significant improvement in survival to hospital discharge," the authors write. "Larger trials examining resuscitation without intravenous access and drug administration, as well as of existing or new drugs, appear to be justified."

Authors of the study reported financial relationships with medical companies.

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