Cardiopulmonary resuscitation after traumatic cardiac arrest is not always futile.

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.
Injury (Impact Factor: 2.46). 06/2006; 37(5):448-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.injury.2005.11.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of guidelines regarding the termination or withholding of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in traumatic cardiac arrest patients remains controversial. This study aimed to describe the outcomes for victims of penetrating and blunt trauma who received prehospital CPR.
We conducted a retrospective review of a statewide major trauma registry using data from 2001 to 2004. Subjects suffered penetrating or blunt trauma, received CPR in the field by paramedics and were transported to hospital. Demographics, vital signs, injury severity, prehospital time, length of stay and mortality data were collected and analysed.
Eighty-nine patients met inclusion criteria. Eighty percent of these were blunt trauma victims, with a mortality rate of 97%, while penetrating trauma patients had a mortality rate of 89%. The overall mortality rate was 95%. Sixty-six percent of patients had a length of stay of less than 1 day. Four patients survived to discharge, of which two were penetrating and two were blunt injuries. Hypoxia and electrical injury were probable associated causes of two cardiac arrests seen in survivors of blunt injury.
While only a small number of penetrating and blunt trauma patients receiving CPR survived to discharge, this therapy is not always futile. Prehospital emergency personnel need to be aware of possible hypoxic and electrical causes for cardiac arrest appearing in combination with traumatic injuries.

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to clarify the outcome of patients with cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival due to penetrating trauma (PT-CPA) and to establish the treatment strategy. The clinical course of 29 patients with PT-CPA over the past 10 years was examined. We have taken three approaches to these patients: (i) an aggressive treatment strategy; (ii) an in-hospital system supporting this aggressive resuscitation; and (iii) the pre-hospital emergency medical service (EMS) system in our city. Although the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was established in 59% of patients, only 17% survived for 7 days, 14% were discharged, and 7% were neurologically intact. Of 10 patients showing pulseless electrical activity (PEA) on the scene, ROSC was established in 100% and 30% were discharged; however, of 12 patients showing asystole, ROSC was established in 33% and no patient could be discharged. There was no difference in the time interval from the arrival at the emergency department to ROSC between discharged patients and patients who died. The time interval from collapse to arrival at the emergency department in discharged patients and patients who went to the intensive care unit was shorter than that of patients who died in the emergency department with and without ROSC. We cannot decide to give up and terminate resuscitation in any PT-CPA patients and cannot define salvageable patients. However, our data show that 30-min resuscitation is thought to be relevant and that we should not give up on resuscitation because of the time interval without ROSC after arrival at the hospital.
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    ABSTRACT: ADULTS: Administer chest compressions (minimum 100/min, minimum 5 cm depth) at a ratio of 30:2 with ventilation (tidal volume 500-600 ml, inspiration time 1 s, F(I)O₂ if possible 1.0). Avoid any interruptions in chest compressions. After every single defibrillation attempt (initially biphasic 120-200 J, monophasic 360 J, subsequently with the respective highest energy), chest compressions are initiated again immediately for 2 min independent of the ECG rhythm. Tracheal intubation is the optimal method for securing the airway during resuscitation but should be performed only by experienced airway management providers. Laryngoscopy is performed during ongoing chest compressions; interruption of chest compressions for a maximum of 10 s to pass the tube through the vocal cords. Supraglottic airway devices are alternatives to tracheal intubation. Drug administration routes for adults and children: first choice i.v., second choice intraosseous (i.o.). Vasopressors: 1 mg epinephrine every 3-5 min i.v. After the third unsuccessful defibrillation amiodarone (300 mg i.v.), repetition (150 mg) possible. Sodium bicarbonate (50 ml 8.4%) only for excessive hyperkaliemia, metabolic acidosis, or intoxication with tricyclic antidepressants. Consider aminophylline (5 mg/kgBW). Thrombolysis during spontaneous circulation only for myocardial infarction or massive pulmonary embolism; during on-going cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) only when indications of massive pulmonary embolism. Active compression-decompression (ACD-CPR) and inspiratory threshold valve (ITV-CPR) are not superior to good standard CPR. CHILDREN: Most effective improvement of outcome by prevention of full cardiorespiratory arrest. Basic life support: initially five rescue breaths, followed by chest compressions (100-120/min depth about one third of chest diameter), compression-ventilation ratio 15:2. Foreign body airway obstruction with insufficient cough: alternate back blows and chest compressions (infants), or abdominal compressions (children >1 year). Treatment of potentially reversible causes: ("4 Hs and 4 Ts") hypoxia and hypovolaemia, hypokalaemia and hyperkalaemia, hypothermia, and tension pneumothorax, tamponade, toxic/therapeutic disturbances, thrombosis (coronary/pulmonary). Advanced life support: adrenaline (epinephrine) 10 µg/kgBW i.v. or i.o. every 3-5 min. Defibrillation (4 J/kgBW; monophasic or biphasic) followed by 2 min CPR, then ECG and pulse check. NEWBORNS: Initially inflate the lungs with bag-valve mask ventilation (p(AW) 20-40 cmH₂O). If heart rate remains <60/min, start chest compressions (120 chest compressions/min) and ventilation with a ratio 3:1. Maintain normothermia in preterm babies by covering them with foodgrade plastic wrap or similar. POSTRESUSCITATION PHASE: Early protocol-based intensive care stabilization; initiate mild hypothermia early regardless of initial cardiac rhythm [32-34°C for 12-24 h (adults) or 24 h (children); slow rewarming (<0.5°C/h)]. Consider percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with presumed cardiac ischemia. Prediction of CPR outcome is not possible at the scene, determine neurological outcome <72 h after cardiac arrest with somatosensory evoked potentials, biochemical tests and neurological examination. ACUTE CORONARY SYNDROME: Even if only a weak suspicion of an acute coronary syndrome is present, record a prehospital 12-lead ECG. In parallel to pain therapy, administer aspirin (160-325 mg p.o. or i.v.) and clopidogrel (75-600 mg depending on strategy); in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and planned PCI also prasugrel (60 mg p.o.). Antithrombins, such as heparin (60 IU/kgBW, max. 4000 IU), enoxaparin, bivalirudin or fondaparinux depending on the diagnosis (STEMI or non-STEMI-ACS) and the planned therapeutic strategy. In STEMI define reperfusion strategy depending on duration of symptoms until PCI, age and location of infarction. TRAUMA: In severe hemorrhagic shock, definitive control of bleeding is the most important goal. For successful CPR of trauma patients a minimal intravascular volume status and management of hypoxia are essential. Aggressive fluid resuscitation, hyperventilation and excessive ventilation pressure may impair outcome in patients with severe hemorrhagic shock. TRAINING: Any CPR training is better than nothing; simplification of contents and processes is the main aim.
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