In a study demystifying traditional methods it ahs been found that survival rates following the most common form of cardiac arrest increased three-fold when emergency medical personnel used a new form of CPR developed at The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center.
Cardiocerebral Resuscitation, is how this new approach is christened and it is dramatically different from guideline-directed CPR procedures.
In the words of Michael J. Kellum, MD, leading author of the study report, "Cardiocerebral Resuscitation eliminates certain previously recommended procedures and reprioritizes the order of actions the emergency medical services deliver,"
Under the new approach, intubating the patient for ventilation and delivering a shock using a defibrillator, which is the first step in standard protocol, is skipped. While still attaching the victim to a defibrillator, there was no wait for the device to analyze the patient's heart rhythm, but started fast, forceful chest compressions.
According to said Gordon A. Ewy, MD, director of the Sarver Heart Center and co-author of the study, "Intubating the patient and waiting for the defibrillator to do its analysis takes time - time a cardiac arrest victim doesn't have. I am convinced that Cardiocerebral Resuscitation will have a world-wide impact. In laboratory experiments, we found that the most important factor of survival is to keep the blood moving through the body by continuous chest compressions. Stopping chest compressions for ventilations was far more harmful than helpful. Excessive ventilations during chest compression turned out to be harmful, too."
125 patients were involved in this study, which reports the experiences after the revised protocol was implemented in two Wisconsin counties in collaboration between the CPR Research Group at the University of Arizona's Sarver Heart Centre and the Mercy Health System in Wisconsin.
Dr. Ewy added, "We think one of the reasons that CPR as directed by international guidelines has not worked well is because it is designed for two entirely different conditions: cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest. What is good for one may not be good for the other. Cardiocerebral Resuscitation is designed for cardiac arrest. Sudden unexpected collapse in an adult is almost always due to cardiac arrest. The new approach is not recommended for respiratory arrest, a much less common situation following, for example, drowning or drug overdose."
Thus this new method offers hope!