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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

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CPR quality reduced due to physical fatigue after a water rescue in a swimming pool

Abstract

Objective. This study aimed to analyse the influence of physical fatigue, resulting from a simulated aquatic rescue, at a swimming pool, on the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) delivered by the rescuer.

Design, setting and participants. An intragroup design with 27 lifeguards was used in this study. The quality of CPR delivery was evaluated for two minutes for all subjects while they were at rest (test 1), as well as after a simulated aquatic rescue at a swimming pool (test 2). A Resusci Anne® SkillReporter™ (Laerdal Medical Limited, Norway) manikin was used to retrieve reports on CPR delivery, compliant with the most recent international guidelines (30:2, chest compression: ventilation ratio).

Results. Rescue-related physical fatigue had a significant influence on the total number of chest compressions as well as on the ratio of correct chest compressions. Physical fatigue triggered by a swimming pool water rescue negatively influenced CPR delivery quality. These results show that the detrimental effects of physical fatigue on CPR delivery remain important, even in a swimming pool environment.

Conclusions. Training programs should reflect this finding, and focus on enabling lifeguards to deliver proper CPR, even while exhausted and for long periods of time.

Key words: emergency medicine, drowning, resuscitation

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Monitoring of a middle latency auditory evoked potential index during postresuscitation care with induced therapeutic hypothermia

Abstract

A 48-year-old man suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest at the supermarket and underwent bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation. During transportation to our emergency center, ventricular fibrillation occurred and defibrillation was successful. Restoration of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) with sinus rhythm occurred 12 min after sudden cardiac arrest. On arrival at the emergency center 2 min after ROSC, middle latency auditory evoked potential index (MLAEPi) was measured and MLAEPi monitoring was continued to post-resuscitation care with induced therapeutic hypothermia (TH). This case highlights the usefulness of MLAEPi monitoring during primary care in the emergency center and postresuscitation care, including TH, for predicting neurological outcome.

Key words: resuscitation, cardiopulmonary arrest, monitoring, prognosis

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Near-death experiences and electrocardiogram patterns in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: a prospective observational study

Abstract

Aim. To determine the effect of several factors, that are a part of cardiac arrest and resuscitation, on the incidence of near-death experiences (NDEs).
Methods. We conducted a prospective observational study in the three largest hospitals in Slovenia in a consecutive sample of patients after out-of-hospital primary cardiac arrest. The presence of NDE was assessed with the  self-administered Greyson’s near-death experiences scale. The electrocardiogram pattern at the beginning of  resuscitation was recorded. Main outcome measure was the presence of near-death experiences. Univariate analysis was used.
Results. The study included 52 patients. There were 42 (80.8%) males in the sample; median age ± standard deviation of the patients was 53.1 ± 14.5 years. Near-death experiences were reported by 11 (21.2%) patients. Patients with ventricular fibrillation had significantly less NDEs than other patients (12.2% vs. 54.5%, P = 0.006). Patients with pulseless electrical activity had significantly more NDEs than others (60.0% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.003). Patients with asystole  and pulseless electrical fibrillation had significantly more NDEs than patients who had ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia (60.0% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.003). Patients with at least one defibrillation attempt had significantly less near-death experiences than others (62.5% vs. 13.6%, P = 0.007).
Conclusion. Our study found a possible correlation between electrocardiogram pattern in cardiac arrest patients and the incidence of near-death experiences. Further studies should address this problem in larger  samples.

Key words: near-death experiences, electrocardiogram, heart arrest, incidence, prospective study, resuscitation

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Emergency Open Cardiac Massage via Subxyphoid Approach in Ruptured Type A Aortic Dissection

Abstract

Patient sustained cardiac tamponade caused by rupture of type A aortic dissection may result in sudden death. Pericardiocentesis is a lifesaving procedure; nevertheless, blood may occlude the catheter and fail to relieve the pressure. However, open-chest cardiac massage in resuscitation has been studied in animal models by some medical centers and laboratories with inspiring results. We report a 58-year-old woman who was transferred from a local hospital with the diagnosis of cardiac tamponade caused by ruptured type A aortic dissection. Pulseless electrical activity followed by cardiac arrest occurred thereafter. Successful resuscitation in the emergency department was achieved using open cardiac massage through the sub-xyphoid region by opening a pericardial window. Therefore, in unstable patients with cardiac tamponade due to aortic dissection, this resuscitative procedure is feasible, safe and efficient.

Keywords: direct cardiac compression, resuscitation, sub-xyphoid approach, cardiac tamponade, aortic dissection

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Clinical Trials

Abstract

The clinical practice of resuscitation science is dependent on discoveries generated in the basic science and animal laboratory and then translated into clinical trials for application in humans. The successful implementation of prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trials in the field of cardiac arrest remains challenging and continues to evolve. Funding for clinical trials of cardiac arrest is limited, and there are significant obstacles to performing such studies because of the inability to obtain informed consent under these emergency circumstances. The absence of reliable national statistics on cardiac arrest, evaluation of neurological outcome, and potential confounders such as post-resuscitation hospital-based care and quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) continue to challenge cardiac arrest clinical trials. Nonetheless, the immense public health burden of cardiac arrest is being recognized, appropriate public health initiatives to address the problem are being implemented, and the resuscitation research community is meeting this challenge.

Keywords: resuscitation, clinical trials, funding, informed consent, neurological and functional assessments, standards

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