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Statement Addresses Post-Cardiac Arrest Syndrome

Authors urge implementation of evidence-based guidelines but also cite need for more research

FRIDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based clinical guidelines may improve outcomes in patients who regain spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest, but more research is needed to address critical gaps in knowledge, according to an International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation Consensus Statement on Post-Cardiac Arrest Syndrome published online Oct. 23 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues identified relevant articles in PubMed, EMBASE and an American Heart Association EndNote master resuscitation reference library, and also conducted hand searches of key papers.

The authors cited epidemiological data showing that there has been no improvement in rates of hospital discharge after initial resumption of spontaneous circulation despite 50 years of advances in critical care. They identified barriers that impair the implementation and optimization of post-cardiac arrest care, and offered evidence-based implementation strategies including the selection of a local "champion" who leads the development of a simple, pragmatic protocol with input from all relevant disciplines; the prioritization of interventions; and a pilot phase to test the protocol. They also provided a list of knowledge gaps in the pathophysiology, treatment and prognosis of patients who regain spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest.

"The purpose of this list is to stimulate pre-clinical and clinical research that will lead to evidence-based optimization of post-cardiac arrest care," the authors write.

Several members of the Writing Group report receiving grants or consulting fees from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers.

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