Stephen Bernard

Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (109)577.3 Total impact

  • Heart, Lung and Circulation 12/2015; 24:S374. DOI:10.1016/j.hlc.2015.06.609 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains a major public health issue and research has shown that large regional variation in outcomes exists. Of the interventions associated with survival, the provision of bystander CPR is one of the most important modifiable factors. The aim of this study is to identify census areas with high incidence of OHCA and low rates of bystander CPR in Victoria, Australia. Methods: We conducted an observational study using prospectively collected population-based OHCA data from the state of Victoria in Australia. Using ArcGIS (ArcMap 10.0), we linked the location of the arrest using the dispatch coordinates (longitude and latitude) to Victorian Local Government Areas (LGAs). We used Bayesian hierarchical models with random effects on each LGA to provide shrunken estimates of the rates of bystander CPR and the incidence rates. Results: Over the study period there were 31,019 adult OHCA attended, of which 21,436 (69.1%) cases were of presumed cardiac etiology. Significant variation in the incidence of OHCA among LGAs was observed. There was a 3 fold difference in the incidence rate between the lowest and highest LGAs, ranging from 38.5 to 115.1 cases per 100,000 person-years. The overall rate of bystander CPR for bystander witnessed OHCAs was 62.4%, with the rate increasing from 56.4% in 2008-2010 to 68.6% in 2010-2013. There was a 25.1% absolute difference in bystander CPR rates between the highest and lowest LGAs. Conclusion: Significant regional variation in OHCA incidence and bystander CPR rates exists throughout Victoria. Regions with high incidence and low bystander CPR participation can be identified and would make suitable targets for interventions to improve CPR participation rates.
    PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0139776. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0139776 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to investigate an association between ethanol exposure and in-hospital mortality among patients with isolated traumatic brain injury (iTBI). Ethanol exposure is associated with a substantially increased risk of sustaining an iTBI. However, once an iTBI has been sustained, it is unclear whether ethanol exposure is neuroprotective or harmful. We conducted a retrospective review of patients who presented between 2006 and 2012 and were entered into the Alfred Hospital trauma registry. The patients who presented with iTBI, as defined by a head abbreviated injury scale (AIS) score ⩾3 and all other body regions with AIS<3, and who had ethanol levels recorded on admission, were eligible for inclusion. The association between ethanol exposure as a continuous variable, and in-hospital mortality, was explored using multivariable logistic regression analysis. There were 1688 patients with iTBI who met the inclusion criteria, 577 (34.2%) of whom tested positive for ethanol. Ethanol exposure was not significantly associated with a change in the in-hospital mortality rate (adjusted odds ratio 1.01; 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.02; p=0.19). A substantial proportion of patients with iTBI were exposed to ethanol, but ethanol exposure was not independently associated with a change in mortality rate following iTBI. Any neuroprotection or harm from ethanol exposure was not conclusive, requiring further prospective trials. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jocn.2015.05.034 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this systematic review was to determine whether ethanol is neuroprotective or associated with adverse effects in the context of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Approximately 30-60% of TBI patients are intoxicated with ethanol at the time of injury. We performed a systematic review of the literature using a combination of keywords for ethanol and TBI. Manuscripts were included if the population studied was human subjects with isolated moderate to severe TBI, acute ethanol intoxication was studied as an exposure variable and mortality reported as an outcome. The included studies were assessed for heterogeneity. A meta-analysis was performed and the pooled odds ratio (OR) for the association between ethanol and in-hospital mortality reported. There were seven studies eligible for analysis. A statistically significant association favouring reduced mortality with ethanol intoxication was found (OR 0.78; 95% confidence interval 0.73-0.83). Heterogeneity among selected studies was not statistically significant (p=0.25). Following isolated moderate-severe TBI, ethanol intoxication was associated with reduced in-hospital mortality. The retrospective nature of the studies, varying definitions of brain injury, degree of intoxication and presence of potential confounders limits our confidence in this conclusion. Further research is recommended to explore the potential use of ethanol as a therapeutic strategy following TBI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 06/2015; 22(9). DOI:10.1016/j.jocn.2015.02.030 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Prophylactic hypothermia is effective in laboratory models, but clinical studies to date have been inconclusive, partly because of methodological limitations. Our Prophylactic Hypothermia Trial to Lessen Traumatic Brain Injury (POLAR) randomised controlled trial is currently underway comparing early, sustained hypothermia versus standard care in patients with severe TBI. We describe our study protocol and the challenges in conducting prophylactic hypothermia research in TBI. We aim to randomise 500 patients to either prophylactic 33°C hypothermia initiated within 3 hours of injury and continued for at least 72 hours, or standard normothermic management. Patients will be enrolled by paramedic services in the prehospital setting, or by emergency department staff at participating sites in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The primary outcome will be the eight-level extended Glasgow outcome scale (GOSE), dichotomised to favourable and unfavourable outcomes at 6 months after injury. Secondary outcomes will include mortality at hospital discharge and at 6 months, ordinal analyses of 6-month GOSE outcomes, quality of life with health economic evaluations and the differential proportion of adverse events. We will predefine subgroup and interaction analyses. After a run-in phase, recruitment for our main study began in December 2010. When the study is completed, we aim to provide evidence on the efficacy of prophylactic hypothermia in TBI to guide clinicians in their management of this devastating condition.
    Critical care and resuscitation: journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine 06/2015; 17(2):92-100. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: -Oxygen is commonly administered to patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) despite previous studies suggesting a possible increase in myocardial injury due to coronary vasoconstriction and heightened oxidative stress. -We conducted a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing oxygen (8 L/min) with no supplemental oxygen in patients with STEMI diagnosed on paramedic 12-lead electrocardiogram. Of 638 patients randomized, 441 were confirmed STEMI patients who underwent primary endpoint analysis. The primary endpoint was myocardial infarct size as assessed by cardiac enzymes, troponin (cTnI) and creatine kinase (CK). Secondary endpoints included recurrent myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmia and myocardial infarct size assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging at 6 months. Mean peak troponin was similar in the oxygen and no oxygen groups (57.4 mcg/L vs. 48.0 mcg/L; ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.56; P=0.18). There was a significant increase in mean peak CK in the oxygen group compared to the no oxygen group (1948 U/L vs. 1543 U/L; means ratio, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.52; P= 0.01). There was an increase in the rate of recurrent myocardial infarction in the oxygen group compared to the no oxygen group (5.5%vs.0.9%, P=0.006) and an increase in frequency of cardiac arrhythmia (40.4% vs. 31.4%; P=0.05). At 6-months the oxygen group had an increase in myocardial infarct size on CMR (n=139; 20.3 grams vs. 13.1 grams; P=0.04). -Supplemental oxygen therapy in patients with STEMI but without hypoxia may increase early myocardial injury and was associated with larger myocardial infarct size assessed at six months. Clinical Trial Registration Identifier: NCT01272713.
    Circulation 05/2015; 131(24). DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.014494 · 14.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Winching emergency medical care providers from a helicopter to the scene enables treatment of patients in otherwise inaccessible locations, but is not without risks. The objective of this study was to define characteristics of winch missions undertaken by Intensive Care Flight Paramedics (ICFP) in Victoria, Australia with a focus on extraction methods and clinical care delivered at the scene. A retrospective data analysis was performed to identify all winch missions between November 2010 and March 2014. Demographic data, winch characteristics, physiological parameters, and interventions undertaken on scene by the ICFP were extracted. Out of 5,003 missions in the study period, 125 were identified as winch operations. Winter missions were significantly less frequent than those of any other season. Patients were predominantly male (78.4%) and had a mean age of 38 years (±17.6). A total of 109 (87.2%) patients were identified as experiencing trauma with a mean Revised Trauma Score of 7.5288, and isolated limb fractures were the most frequently encountered injury. Falls and vehicle-related trauma were the most common mechanisms of injury. The total median scene duration was 49 minutes (IQR 23–91). Sixty-three patients (50.4%) were extracted using a stretcher, 45 (36.0%) using a hypothermic strop, and 6 (4.8%) via normal rescue strop. Eleven patients (8.8%) were not winched to the helicopter. Vascular access (38.4%), analgesia (44.0%), and anti-emetic administration (28.8%) were the most frequent clinical interventions. Forty-nine patients (39.2%) did not receive any clinical intervention prior to winch extraction. Winch operations in Victoria, Australia consisted predominantly of patients with minor to moderate traumatic injuries. A significant proportion of patients did not require any clinical treatment prior to winching, and among those who did, analgesia was the most frequent intervention. Advanced medical procedures were rarely required prior to winch extraction.
    Prehospital Emergency Care 05/2015; DOI:10.3109/10903127.2015.1037479 · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • E Andrew · A de Wit · B Meadley · S Cox · S Bernard · K Smith
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective. The optimal staffing of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) is uncertain. An intensive care paramedic-staffed HEMS has operated in the state of Victoria, Australia for over 28 years, with paramedics capable of performing advanced procedures, including rapid sequence intubation, decompression of tension pneumothorax, and cricothyroidotomy. Administration of a wide range of vasoactive, anesthetic, and analgesic medications is also permitted. We sought to explore the characteristics of patients transported by HEMS in Victoria, and describe paramedic utilization of their skill set in the prehospital environment. Methods. A retrospective data review was conducted of patients transported by the HEMS between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013. Data were sourced from the Ambulance Victoria data warehouse and the Victorian State Trauma Registry. Interhospital transfers were excluded. Results. HEMS attended 1,519 cases during the study period. A total of 825 primary transport cases were included in analyses. Most patients were male (69.5%) and the majority of cases involved trauma (86.1%). Rapid sequence intubation (RSI) was performed in 36.8% of pediatric and 29.9% of adult major trauma patients, with a procedural success rate of 100%. Ketamine was administered to 18.5% of all trauma patients. The proportion of patients with a severe pain score (≥7) decreased from 33.8 to 3.2% (p < 0.001) between initial and final paramedic assessments. A clinically significant pain reduction of ≥2 points was achieved by 87.0% (95% CI 82.9-90.4%) of adult trauma patients who had an initial pain score >2 points and a valid final pain score. In-hospital mortality following major-trauma was 7.6% (95% CI 5.0-11.0%). Conclusions. The skill set of HEMS intensive care paramedics in Victoria is broad, including a large number of prehospital critical care procedures commonly utilized by physician-staffed HEMS in other jurisdictions. A high RSI procedural success rate was observed across the study period, as were significant improvements in patient physiological parameters and pain scores.
    Prehospital Emergency Care 02/2015; 19(3). DOI:10.3109/10903127.2014.995846 · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • Kylie Dyson · Janet Bray · Karen Smith · Stephen Bernard · Lahn Straney · Judith Finn
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    ABSTRACT: Paramedic exposure to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) may be an important factor in skill maintenance and quality of care. We aimed to describe the annual exposure rates of paramedics in the state of Victoria, Australia. We linked data from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) and Ambulance Victoria's employment dataset for 2003 to 2012. Paramedics were 'exposed' to an OHCA if they attended a case where resuscitation was attempted. Individual rates were calculated for average annual exposure (number of OHCA exposures for each paramedic/years employed in study period) and the average number of days between exposures (total paramedic-days in study/total number of exposures in study). Over 10-years, there were 49,116 OHCAs and 5,673 paramedics employed. Resuscitation was attempted in 44% of OHCAs. The typical 'exposure' of paramedics was 1.4 (IQR=0.0-3.0) OHCAs per year. Mean annual OHCA exposure declined from 2.8 in 2003 to 2.1 in 2012 (p=0.007). Exposure was significantly less in those: employed part-time (p<0.001); in rural areas (p<0.001); and with lower qualifications (p<0.001). Annual exposure to paediatric and traumatic OHCAs was particularly low. It would take paramedics an average of 163 days to be exposed to an OHCA and up to 12.5years for paediatric OHCAs, which occur relatively rarely. Exposure of individual paramedics to resuscitation is low and has decreased over time. This highlights the importance of supplementing paramedic exposure with other methods, such as simulation, to maintain resuscitation skills particularly in those with low exposure and for rare case types. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 01/2015; 89. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.01.023 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Z Nehme · E Andrew · S Bernard · K Smith
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    ABSTRACT: Despite immediate resuscitation, survival rates following out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) witnessed by emergency medical service (EMS) are reportedly low. We sought to compare survival and 12-month functional recovery outcomes for OHCA occurring before and after EMS arrival. Between 1st July 2008 and 30th June 2013, we included 8648 adult OHCA cases receiving an EMS attempted resuscitation from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry, and categorised them into five groups: bystander witnessed cases±bystander CPR, unwitnessed cases±bystander CPR, and EMS witnessed cases. The main outcomes were survival to hospital and survival to hospital discharge. Twelve-month survival with good functional recovery was measured in a sub-group of patients using the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE). Baseline and arrest characteristics differed significantly across groups. Unadjusted survival outcomes were highest among bystander witnessed cases receiving bystander CPR and EMS witnessed cases, however outcomes differed significantly between these groups: survival to hospital (46.0% vs. 53.4% respectively, p<0.001); survival to hospital discharge (21.1% vs. 34.9% respectively, p<0.001). When compared to bystander witnessed cases receiving bystander CPR, EMS witnessed cases were associated with a significant improvement in the risk adjusted odds of survival to hospital (OR 2.02, 95% CI: 1.75-2.35), survival to hospital discharge (OR 6.16, 95% CI: 5.04-7.52) and survival to 12 months with good functional recovery (OR 5.56, 95% CI: 4.18-7.40). When compared to OHCA occurring prior to EMS arrival, EMS witnessed arrests were associated with significantly higher survival to hospital discharge rates and favourable neurological recovery at 12 months post arrest. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 01/2015; 89. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.01.012 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the value of clinical registries has been well recognized in developed countries, their use for measuring the quality of emergency medical service care remains relatively unknown. We report the methodology and findings of a statewide emergency medical service surveillance initiative, which is used to measure the quality of systems of care for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2012, data for adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases of presumed cardiac cause occurring in the Australian Southeastern state of Victoria were extracted from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry. Regional and temporal trends in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, event survival, and survival to hospital discharge were analyzed using logistic regression and multilevel modeling. A total of 32 097 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases were identified, of whom 14 083 (43.9%) received treatment by the emergency medical service. The risk-adjusted odds of receiving bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (odds ratio [OR], 2.96; 95% confidence interval, 2.62-3.33), event survival (OR, 1.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.30-1.85), and survival to hospital discharge (OR, 2.81; 95% confidence interval, 2.07-3.82) were significantly improved by 2011 to 2012 compared with baseline. Significant variation in rates of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and survival were observed across regions, with arrests in rural regions less likely to survive to hospital discharge. The median OR for interhospital variability in survival to hospital discharge outcome was 70% (median OR, 1.70). Between 2002 and 2012, there have been significant improvements in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and survival outcome for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in Victoria, Australia. However, regional survival disparities and interhospital variability in outcomes pose significant challenges for future improvements in care. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 01/2015; 8(1):56-66. DOI:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.114.001185 · 5.66 Impact Factor
  • Z Nehme · E Andrew · J E Bray · P Cameron · S Bernard · I T Meredith · K Smith
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    ABSTRACT: The significance of pre-arrest factors in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) witnessed by emergency medical services (EMS) is not well established. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between prodromal symptoms and pre-arrest clinical observations on the arresting rhythm and survival in EMS witnessed OHCA. Between 1st January 2003 and 31st December 2011, 1,056 adult EMS witnessed arrests of a presumed cardiac aetiology were identified from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry. Pre-arrest prodromal features and clinical characteristics were extracted from the patient care record. Backward elimination logistic regression was used to identify pre-arrest factors associated with an initial shockable rhythm and survival to hospital discharge. The median age was 73.0 years, 690 (65.3%) were male, and the rhythm of arrest was shockable in 465 (44.0%) cases. The most commonly reported prodromal symptoms prior to arrest were chest pain (48.8%), dyspnoea (41.8%) and altered consciousness (37.8%). An unrecordable systolic blood pressure was observed in 34.4%, a respiratory rate<13 or >24/min was present in 43.1%, and 45.5% had a Glasgow coma score<15. In the multivariable analysis, the following pre-arrest factors were significantly associated with survival: age, public location, aged care facility, chest pain, arm or shoulder pain, dyspnoea, dizziness, vomiting, ventricular tachycardia, pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, Glasgow coma score, aspirin and inotrope administration. Pre-arrest factors are strongly associated with the arresting rhythm and survival following EMS witnessed OHCA. Potential opportunities to improve outcomes exist by way of early recognition and management of patients at risk of OHCA. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 12/2014; 88. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.12.009 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine the effect of the "after-hours" (18:00-07:00) model of trauma care on a high-risk subgroup - patients presenting with acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC). Design, participants and setting: Retrospective analysis of data from the Alfred Trauma Registry for patients with ATC presenting between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011. Main outcome measure: Mortality at hospital discharge, adjusted for potential confounders, describing the association between after-hours presentation and mortality. Results: There were 398 patients with ATC identified during the study period, of whom 197 (49.5%) presented after hours. Mortality among patients presenting after hours was 43.1%, significantly higher than among those presenting in hours (33.1%; P = 0.04). Following adjustment for possible confounding variables of age, presenting Glasgow Coma Scale score, urgent surgery or angiography and initial base deficit, after-hours presentation was significantly associated with higher mortality at hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.10-2.87). Conclusion: The after-hours model of care was associated with worse outcomes among some of the most critically ill trauma patients. Standardising patient reception at major trauma centres to ensure a consistent level of care across all hours of the day may improve outcomes among patients who have had a severe injury.
    The Medical journal of Australia 11/2014; 201(10):588-91. DOI:10.5694/mja13.00235 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may generate sufficient cerebral perfusion pressure to make the patient conscious. The incidence and management of this phenomenon are not well described. This systematic review aims to identifying cases where CPR-induced consciousness is mentioned in the literature and explore its management options. Methods: The databases Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, Cinahl and the Cochrane Library were searched from their commencement to the 8th July 2014. We also searched Google (scholar) for grey literature. We combined MeSH terms and text words for consciousness and CPR, and included studies of all types. Results: The search yielded 1997 unique records, of which 50 abstracts were reviewed. Nine reports, describing 10 patients, were relevant. Six of the patients had CPR performed by mechanical devices, three of these patients were sedated. Four patients arrested in the out-of-hospital setting and six arrested in hospital. There were four survivors. Varying levels of consciousness were described in all reports, including purposeful arm movements, verbal communication, and resuscitation interference. Management strategies directed at consciousness were offered to six patients and included both physical and chemical restraints. Conclusion: CPR-induced consciousness was infrequently reported in the medical literature, and varied in management. Given the increasing use of mechanical CPR, guidelines to identify and manage consciousness during CPR are required.
    Resuscitation 11/2014; 86. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.10.017 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Karen Smith · Emily Andrew · Marijana Lijovic · Ziad Nehme · Stephen Bernard
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a significant global health problem. There has been considerable investment in improving the emergency medical response to OHCA, with associated improvements in survival. However, concern remains that survivors have a poor quality of life. This study describes the quality of life of OHCA survivors at 1-year postarrest in Victoria, Australia. Methods and results: Adult OHCA patients who arrested between 2010 and 2012 were identified from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry. Paramedics attended 15 113 OHCA patients of which 46.3% received an attempted resuscitation. Nine hundred and twenty-seven (13.2%) survived to hospital discharge of which 76 (8.2%) died within 12 months. Interviews were conducted with 697 (80.7%) patients or proxies, who were followed-up via telephone interview, including the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended, the 12-item short form health survey, and the EuroQol. The majority (55.6%) of respondents had a good recovery via the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended≥7 (41.1% if patients who died postdischarge were included and nonrespondents were assumed to have poor recovery). The mean EuroQol index score for respondents was 0.82 (standard deviation, 0.19), which compared favorably with an adjusted population norm of 0.81 (standard deviation, 0.34). The mean 12-item short form Mental Component Summary score for patients was 53.0 (standard deviation, 10.2), whereas the mean Physical Component Summary score was 46.1 (standard deviation, 11.2). Conclusions: This is the largest published study assessing the quality of life of OHCA survivors. It provides good evidence that many survivors have an acceptable quality of life 12 months postarrest, particularly in comparison with population norms.
    Circulation 10/2014; 131(2). DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011200 · 14.43 Impact Factor
  • Marijana Lijovic · Stephen Bernard · Ziad Nehme · T Walker · K Smith
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of automated external defibrillator (AED) use by bystanders in Victoria, Australia on survival of adults suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in a public place compared to those first defibrillated by emergency medical services (EMS). We analysed data from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry for individuals aged >15 years who were defibrillated in a public place between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2013, excluding events due to trauma or witnessed by EMS. Of 2270 OHCA cases who arrested in a public place, 2117 (93.4%) were first defibrillated by EMS and 153 (6.7%) were first defibrillated by a bystander using a public AED. Use of public AEDs increased almost 11-fold between 2002/2003 and 2012/2013, from 1.7% to 18.5%, respectively (p<0.001). First defibrillation occurred sooner in bystander defibrillation (5.2 versus 10.0min, p<0.001). Unadjusted survival to hospital discharge for bystander defibrillated patients was significantly higher than for those first defibrillated by EMS (45% versus 31%, p<0.05). Multivariable regression analysis showed that first defibrillation by a bystander using an AED was associated with a 62% increase in the odds of survival to hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio 1.62, 95% CI: 1.12-2.34, p=0.010) compared to first defibrillation by EMS. Survival to hospital discharge is improved in patients first defibrillated using a public AED prior to EMS arrival in Victoria, Australia. Encouragingly, bystander AED use in Victoria has increased over time. More widespread availability of AEDs may further improve outcomes of OHCA in public places. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 10/2014; 85(12):1739-1744. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.10.005 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Many patients who suffer cardiac arrest do not respond to standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation. There is growing interest in utilizing veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (E-CPR) in the management of refractory cardiac arrest. We describe our preliminary experiences in establishing an E-CPR program for refractory cardiac arrest in Melbourne, Australia. Methods: The CHEER trial (mechanical CPR, Hypothermia, ECMO and Early Reperfusion) is a single center, prospective, observational study conducted at The Alfred Hospital. The CHEER protocol was developed for selected patients with refractory in-hospital and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and involves mechanical CPR, rapid intravenous administration of 30 mL/kg of ice-cold saline to induce intra-arrest therapeutic hypothermia, percutaneous cannulation of the femoral artery and vein by two critical care physicians and commencement of veno-arterial ECMO. Subsequently, patients with suspected coronary artery occlusion are transferred to the cardiac catheterization laboratory for coronary angiography. Therapeutic hypothermia (33 °C) is maintained for 24h in the intensive care unit. Results: There were 26 patients eligible for the CHEER protocol (11 with OHCA, 15 with IHCA). The median age was 52 (IQR 38-60) years. ECMO was established in 24 (92%), with a median time from collapse until initiation of ECMO of 56 (IQR 40-85) min. Percutaneous coronary intervention was performed on 11 (42%) and pulmonary embolectomy on 1 patient. Return of spontaneous circulation was achieved in 25 (96%) patients. Median duration of ECMO support was 2 (IQR 1-5) days, with 13/24 (54%) of patients successfully weaned from ECMO support. Survival to hospital discharge with full neurological recovery (CPC score 1) occurred in 14/26 (54%) patients. Conclusions: A protocol including E-CPR instituted by critical care physicians for refractory cardiac arrest which includes mechanical CPR, peri-arrest therapeutic hypothermia and ECMO is feasible and associated with a relatively high survival rate.
    Resuscitation 09/2014; 86. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.010 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: To investigate the feasibility of delivering titrated oxygen therapy to adults with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Methods: We used a multicentre, randomised, single blind, parallel groups design to compare titrated and standard oxygen therapy in adults resuscitated from VF/VT OHCA. The intervention commenced in the community following ROSC and was maintained in the emergency department and the Intensive Care Unit. The primary end point was the median oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry (SpO2) in the pre-hospital period. Results: 159 OHCA patients were screened and 18 were randomised. 17 participants were analysed: nine in the standard care group and eight in the titrated oxygen group. In the pre-hospital period, SpO2 measurements were lower in the titrated oxygen therapy group than the standard care group (difference in medians 11.3%; 95% CI 1.0-20.5%). Low measured oxygen saturation (SpO2<88%) occurred in 7/8 of patients in the titrated oxygen group and 3/9 of patients in the standard care group (P=0.05). Following hospital admission, good separation of oxygen exposure between the groups was achieved without a significant increase in hypoxia events. The trial was terminated because accumulated data led the Data Safety Monitoring Board and Management Committee to conclude that safe delivery of titrated oxygen therapy in the pre-hospital period was not feasible. Conclusions: Titration of oxygen in the pre-hospital period following OHCA was not feasible; it may be feasible to titrate oxygen safely after arrival in hospital.
    Resuscitation 09/2014; 85(12). DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.011 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Z Nehme · E Andrew · P Cameron · J E Bray · I T Meredith · S Bernard · K Smith
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    ABSTRACT: Preventable bystander delays following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) are common, and include bystanders inappropriately directing their calls for help. We retrospectively extracted Utstein-style data from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) for adult OHCA occurring in Victoria, Australia, between July 2002 and June 2012. Emergency medical service (EMS) witnessed events were excluded. Cases were assigned into two groups on the basis of the first bystander call for help being directed to EMS. Study outcomes were: likelihood of receiving EMS treatment; survival to hospital, and; survival to hospital discharge. A total of 44,499 adult OHCA cases attended by EMS were identified, of which first bystander calls for help were not directed to EMS in 2,842 (6.4%) cases. Calls to a relative, friend or neighbour accounted for almost 60% of the total emergency call delays. Patient characteristics and survival outcomes were consistently less favourable when calls were directed to others. First bystander call to others was independently associated with older age, male gender, arrest in private location, and arrest in a rural region. The risk-adjusted odds of treatment by EMS (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.20-1.48), survival to hospital (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.37-1.96) and survival to hospital discharge (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.13-2.36) were significantly improved if bystanders called EMS first. The frequency of inappropriate bystander calls following OHCA was low, but associated with a reduced likelihood of treatment by EMS and poorer survival outcomes.
    Resuscitation 09/2014; 85(1):42-48. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.08.258 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • E Andrew · Z Nehme · M Lijovic · S Bernard · K Smith
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    ABSTRACT: Background: While internationally reported survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is improving, much of the increase is being observed in patients presenting to emergency medical services (EMS) in shockable rhythms. The purpose of this study was to assess survival and 12-month functional recovery in patients presenting to EMS in asystole or pulseless electrical activity (PEA). Methods: The Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry was searched for adult OHCA patients presenting in non-shockable rhythms in Victoria, Australia between 1st July 2003 and 30th June 2013. We excluded patients defibrillated prior to EMS arrival and arrests witnessed by EMS. Twelve-month quality-of-life interviews were conducted on survivors who arrested between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2012. The main outcome measures were survival to hospital discharge and 12-month functional recovery measured by the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE). Results: A total of 38,378 non-shockable OHCA attended by EMS were included, of which 88.0% were asystole and 11.6% were PEA. Of the patients receiving resuscitation, survival to hospital discharge was 1.1% for asystole and 5.9% for PEA (p<0.001), with no significant improvement observed over the 10 year study period. In survivors with 12-month follow-up data, the combined rate of death, vegetative state or lower severe disability was 66.7% (95% CI 41.0-80.0%) for asystole and 44.7% (95% CI 30.2-59.9%) for PEA. Conclusion: Survival outcomes following OHCA with initial rhythms of asystole or PEA did not improve over the 10-year study period. Our findings indicate high rates of death within 12 months, and unfavourable functional recovery for survivors.
    Resuscitation 08/2014; 85(11). DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.07.015 · 4.17 Impact Factor

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9k Citations
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  • 2010–2015
    • Alfred Hospital
      • Intensive Care Unit
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2001–2015
    • Monash University (Australia)
      • Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2007–2014
    • University of Vic
      Vic, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2010–2013
    • Ambulance Victoria
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2008
    • SA Ambulance Service
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia