[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: We aimed to evaluate post-resuscitation care, implementation of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU)-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients in Finland. METHODS: We included all adult OHCA patients admitted to 21 ICUs in Finland from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 in this prospective observational study. Patients were followed (mortality and neurological outcome evaluated by Cerebral Performance Categories, CPC) within 1 year after cardiac arrest. RESULTS: This study included 548 patients treated after OHCA. Of those, 311 patients (56.8 %) had a shockable initial rhythm (incidence of 7.4/100,000/year) and 237 patients (43.2 %) had a non-shockable rhythm (incidence of 5.6/100,000/year). At ICU admission, 504 (92 %) patients were unconscious. TH was given to 241/281 (85.8 %) unconscious patients resuscitated from shockable rhythms, with unfavourable 1-year neurological outcome (CPC 3-4-5) in 42.0 % with TH versus 77.5 % without TH (p < 0.001). TH was given to 70/223 (31.4 %) unconscious patients resuscitated from non-shockable rhythms, with 1-year CPC of 3-4-5 in 80.6 % (54/70) with TH versus 84.0 % (126/153) without TH (p = 0.56). This lack of difference remained after adjustment for propensity to receive TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms. CONCLUSIONS: One-year unfavourable neurological outcome of patients with shockable rhythms after TH was lower than in previous randomized controlled trials. However, our results do not support use of TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms.
European Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 02/2013; · 5.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Despite the efforts of the modern Emergency Medical Service Systems (EMS), survival rates for sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) have been poor as approximately 10 % of OHCA patients survive hospital discharge. Many aspects of OHCA have been studied, but few previous reports on OHCA have documented the variation between different sizes of study areas on a regional scale. The aim of this study was to report the incidence, outcomes and regional variation of OHCA in the Finnish population. METHODS: From March 1st to August 31st, 2010, data on all OHCA patients in the southern, central and eastern parts of Finland was collected. Data collection was initiated via dispatch centres whenever there was a suspected OHCA case or if a patient developed OHCA before arriving at the hospital. The study area includes 49% of the Finnish population; they are served by eight dispatch centres, two university hospitals and six central hospitals. RESULTS: The study period included 1042 cases of OHCA. Resuscitation was attempted on 671 patients (64.4 %), an incidence of 51/100,000 inhabitants/year. The initial rhythm was shockable for 211 patients (31.4 %). The survival rate at one-year post-OHCA was 13.4 %. Of the witnessed OHCA events with a shockable rhythm of presumed cardiac origin (n=140), 64 patients (45.7 %) were alive at hospital discharge and 47 (33.6 %) were still living one year hence. Surviving until hospital admission was more likely if the OHCA occurred in an urban municipality (41.5%, p=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this comprehensive regional study of OHCA in Finland seem comparable to those previously reported in other countries. The survival of witnessed OHCA events with shockable initial rhythms has improved in urban Finland in recent decades.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 12/2012; 20(1):80. · 1.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of patients successfully resuscitated from pre-hospital cardiac arrest with initial pulseless electrical activity (PEA), because the long-term outcome of these patients is unknown. Survival, neurological status one year after cardiac arrest and self-perceived quality of life after five years were assessed. METHODS: This retrospective study included adult patients resuscitated from PEA between August 2001 and March 2003 in three urban areas in southern Finland. A validated questionnaire was sent to patients while neurological status according to the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) -classification was assessed based on medical database notes recorded during follow-up evaluations. RESULTS: Out of 99 included patients in whom resuscitation was attempted, 41 (41 %) were successfully resuscitated and admitted to hospital. Ten (10 %) patients were discharged from hospital. Seven were alive after one year and six after five years following cardiac arrest. Five of the seven patients alive one year after resuscitation presented with the same functional level as prior to cardiac arrest. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with initial PEA have been considered to have poor prognosis, but in our material, half of those who survived to hospital discharge were still alive after 5 years. Their self-assessed quality of life seems to be good with only mild to moderate impairments in activities of daily life.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 10/2012; 20(1):74. · 1.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to a directive of the European Parliament, informed consent is required to conduct a clinical trial also in emergencies when the patient is unable to provide consent. In these cases surrogate consent can be obtained from the patient's next of kin. There are no reports describing how patients and their next of kin perceive this policy. The perceptions of patients and their spouses involved in an emergency trial conducted under surrogate consent were surveyed.
A survey was sent to survivors of prehospital cardiac arrest, to consent providers regardless of patient outcome, and to physicians who had recruited the patients.
11 (92%) patients, 17 (68%) consent providers, and all physicians returned the survey. All held a positive attitude towards emergency research and were willing to participate without own consent in a trial approved by an institutional review board (IRB). Opinions among responding groups were similar albeit a significant difference regarding the perceived capability of the consent provider to decide upon patient's enrolment. Spouses felt able to provide consent, but physicians were sceptical of this. Patients and their spouses would have appreciated additional information regarding the index trial after the acute phase.
Emergency research was perceived positively by cardiac arrest victims and their spouses previously involved in a resuscitation trial. Possible own participation in an emergency trial without personal consent was considered acceptable. Patients and their spouses would prefer additional research information after enrolment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Airway management is of essential importance in emergency care. Training and skill retention of endotracheal intubation (ETI) - the technique considered as the "gold standard" -, poses a problem especially among care providers experiencing a low frequency of airway management situations. Therefore, alternative airway devices such as the laryngeal tube (LT) with potentially steeper learning curves have been developed and studied. Our aim was to evaluate in a manikin model the use of LT after no other training than written instructions only.
To evaluate the amount of training required to use the LT in a scenario of airway compromise, we assessed the feasibility of providing written instructions and pictures showing its use to 67 out- and in-hospital emergency care providers attending an Emergency Care conference. The majority of the participants were either nurses or firemen with a median of 5 years' history of work in emergency care.
In this study 55% of all participants inserted the LT on the first attempt without additional instructions. An additional 42% required verbal instructions before successful insertion. Overall, 97% of the participants successfully inserted the LT with two attempts.In logistic regression analysis, no relationship was detected between background variables (basic education, experience of emergency work, frequency of bag-valve-mask ventilation (BVM) and frequency of ETI) and successful insertion of the LT in less than 30 seconds, ability to maintain normoventilation (7 l/min) and need for further instructions during the test.
We found that in this pilot study majority of emergency care providers could insert LT with one or two attempts with written instructions, pictures and verbal instruction. This may provide an option to simplify the training of airway management with LT.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 01/2011; 19:56. · 1.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to improve survival and neurological outcome after prehospital cardiac arrest. Existing experimental and clinical evidence supports the notion that delayed cooling results in lesser benefit compared to early induction of mild hypothermia soon after return of spontaneous circulation. Therefore a practical approach would be to initiate cooling already in the prehospital setting. The purpose of this review was to evaluate current clinical studies on prehospital induction of mild hypothermia after cardiac arrest. Most reported studies present data on cooling rates, safety and feasibility of different methods, but are inconclusive as regarding to outcome effects.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 10/2009; 17:53. · 1.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Good-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is highlighted in the International Resuscitation Guidelines, but clinically the quality of CPR is often poor. Education of CPR has a major role in the primary skills imparted to students. Different methods can be used to teach CPR quality. We evaluated the current status of their usage in Finland institutes teaching students of emergency medicine at different levels.
The following institutes were included in an anonymous survey: medical schools (teaching future physicians), universities of applied sciences (paramedics), colleges (emergency medical technicians) and emergency services college (fire-fighters). Hours of teaching theory lessons of CPR and hours of small group training were evaluated. In particular, we focussed on the teaching methods for adequate chest compression rate and depth.
Twenty-one of 30 institutes responded to the questionnaire. The median for hours of theory lessons of CPR was 8h (range: 2-28 h). The median for hours of small group training was 10 (range: 3-40 h). The methods of teaching adequate chest compression rate were instructors' visual estimation in 28.5% of the institutions, watch in 33.3%, metronome in 9.5% and manikins' graphic in 28.5% of institutions. The methods of teaching adequate chest compression depth were instructors' visual estimation in 33.3%, in manikins light indicators in 23.8% and manikins' graphics in 52.3% of institutions.
The hours of theoretic lessons and small group training vary widely among different institutes. In one-third of institutions, the instructor's visual estimation was a sole method used to teach adequate chest compression rate and depth. Different technical methods were surprisingly seldom used.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intravenous infusion of ice-cold fluid is considered a feasible method to induce mild therapeutic hypothermia in cardiac arrest survivors. However, only one randomized controlled trial evaluating this treatment exists. Furthermore, the implementation rate of prehospital cooling is low. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this method in comparison with conventional therapy with spontaneous cooling often observed in prehospital patients.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted in a physician-staffed helicopter emergency medical service. After successful initial resuscitation, patients were randomized to receive either +4 degrees C Ringer's solution with a target temperature of 33 degrees C or conventional fluid therapy. As an endpoint, nasopharyngeal temperature was recorded at the time of hospital admission.
Out of 44 screened patients, 19 were analysed in the treatment group and 18 in the control group. The two groups were comparable in terms of baseline characteristics. The core temperature was markedly lower in the hypothermia group at the time of hospital admission (34.1+/-0.9 degrees C vs. 35.2+/-0.8 degrees C, P<0.001) after a comparable duration of transportation. Otherwise, there were no significant differences between the groups regarding safety or secondary outcome measures such as neurological outcome and mortality.
Spontaneous cooling alone is insufficient to induce therapeutic hypothermia before hospital admission. Infusion of ice-cold fluid after return of spontaneous circulation was found to be well tolerated and effective. This method of cooling should be considered as an important first link in the 'cold chain' of prehospital comatose cardiac arrest survivors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In general, in-hospital resuscitation is performed in a bed and out-of-hospital resuscitation on the floor. The surface under the patient may affect the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality; therefore, we evaluated CPR quality (the percentage of chest compressions of correct depth) and rescuer's fatigue (the mean compression depth minute by minute) when CPR is performed on a manikin on the floor or in the bed.
Forty-four simulated cardiac arrest scenarios of 10 min were treated by intensive care unit (ICU) nurses in pairs using a 30 : 2 chest compression-to-ventilation ratio. The rescuer who performed the compressions was changed every 2 min. CPR was randomly performed either on the floor or in the bed without a backboard; in both settings, participants kneeled beside the manikin.
A total number of 1060 chest compressions, 44% with correct depth, were performed on the floor; 1068 chest compressions were performed in the bed, and 58% of these were the correct depth. These differences were not significant between groups. The mean compression depth during the scenario was 44.9+/-6.2 mm (mean+/-SD) on the floor and 43.0+/-5.9 mm in the bed (P=0.3). The mean chest compression depth decreased over time on both surfaces (P<0.001), indicating rescuer fatigue, but this change was not different between the groups (P=0.305).
ICU nurses perform chest compression as effectively on the floor as in the bed. The mean chest compression depth decreases over time, but the surface had no significant effect.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death, and early defibrillation of ventricular fibrillation (VF) is the single most important intervention for improving survival. The automated external defibrillator (AED) and the concept of public access defibrillation provide a solution to shorten defibrillation delays. Commercial aircraft create a unique environment for the use of the AED since an emergency medical service system (EMS) response is not available. We review published studies on this subject and describe the case of a passenger who developed VF during an intercontinental flight and was successfully resuscitated despite recurrent episodes of VF.
A 60-yr-old man developed VF during a flight from Tokyo to Helsinki. VF frequently recurred and shocks were delivered 21 times altogether. The aircraft was diverted to the city of Kuopio. When the local EMS crew encountered the patient 3 h after the onset of the cardiac arrest, the rhythm again converted to VF and three further shocks were delivered. The patient recovered, and 3 wk later he was transported to his home country, fully alert.
There are three large studies reporting placing AEDs on commercial aircraft. No harm for co-passengers or malfunctions were reported. Survival rates have been higher than those obtained by well-performing EMS. According to previous studies, placing AEDs on commercial aircraft is also cost effective. The absence of a suitable diversion destination should not influence the rescuers' decision to attempt CPR on board.
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 05/2009; 80(4):405-8. · 0.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sudden cardiac arrest survivors suffer from ischaemic brain injury that may lead to poor neurological outcome and death. The reperfusion injury that occurs is associated with damaging biochemical reactions, which are suppressed by mild therapeutic hypothermia (MTH). In several studies MTH has been proven to be safe, with few complications and improved survival, and is recommended by the International Liaison of Committee on Resuscitation. The aim of this paper is to recommend clinical practice guidelines for MTH treatment after cardiac arrest from the Scandinavian Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (SSAI).
Relevant studies were identified after two consensus meetings of the SSAI Task Force on Therapeutic Hypothermia (SSAITFTH) and via literature search of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Medline. Evidence was assessed and consensus opinion was used when high-grade evidence (Grade of Recommendation, GOR) was unavailable. A management strategy was developed as a consensus from the evidence and the protocols in the participating countries.
Although proven beneficial only for patients with initial ventricular fibrillation (GOR A), the SSAITFTH also recommend MTH after restored spontaneous circulation, if active treatment is chosen, in patients with initial pulseless electrical activity and asystole (GOR D). Normal ethical considerations, premorbid status, total anoxia time and general condition should decide whether active treatment is required or not. MTH should be part of a standardized treatment protocol, and initiated as early as possible after indication and treatment have been decided (GOR E). There is insufficient evidence to make definitive recommendations among techniques to induce MTH, and we do not know the optimal target temperature, duration of cooling and rewarming time. New studies are needed to address the question as to how MTH affects, for example, prognostic factors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After sudden cardiac arrest, successful resuscitation and return of spontaneous circulation, a multi-faceted ischaemia/reperfusion related disorder develops. This condition now known as post resuscitation syndrome is characterised by marked increases in the inflammatory response and changes in coagulation profile and vascular reactivity. Additionally, the production of reactive oxygen species and activation of cytotoxic cascades of metabolism add to these injury mechanisms resulting in multiorgan perfusion deficits and dysfunction. Especially in the cerebrum these injuries may be the cause of significant morbidity and mortality. Recent evidence has shown that statins (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors) exert numerous beneficial effects in cardiovascular diseases irrespective of the lipid status. Remarkably, these pleiotropic effects seem to extended beyond cardiovascular diseases such as immunomodulative and antioxidative properties. We hypothesised that administration of statins early in the post resuscitation phase would prove beneficial in the resuscitated patient via several pleiotropic effects. These include inhibition of excessive coagulation and inflammatory response, suppression of oxygen radical production and improved vascular reactivity. The discussed effects are mediated via multiple pathways activated in the cardiac arrest victim, to which statins have been shown to have a beneficial modulating effect in experimental settings and non-cardiac arrest patients. To test this hypothesis in clinical practice, a randomized, controlled trial with sufficient power and standardised post resuscitation treatment would be necessary. The generally good tolerance of statin therapy with minimal adverse effects would support this experiment, although a parenteral form of the drug to ensure adequate dosage might be a prerequisite.
Medical Hypotheses 03/2009; 73(1):97-9. · 1.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adequate chest compression rate during CPR is associated with improved haemodynamics and primary survival. To explore whether the use of a metronome would affect also chest compression depth beside the rate, we evaluated CPR quality using a metronome in a simulated CPR scenario.
Forty-four experienced intensive care unit nurses participated in two-rescuer basic life support given to manikins in 10min scenarios. The target chest compression to ventilation ratio was 30:2 performed with bag and mask ventilation. The rescuer performing the compressions was changed every 2min. CPR was performed first without and then with a metronome that beeped 100 times per minute. The quality of CPR was analysed with manikin software. The effect of rescuer fatigue on CPR quality was analysed separately.
The mean compression rate between ventilation pauses was 137+/-18compressions per minute (cpm) without and 98+/-2cpm with metronome guidance (p<0.001). The mean number of chest compressions actually performed was 104+/-12cpm without and 79+/-3cpm with the metronome (p<0.001). The mean compression depth during the scenario was 46.9+/-7.7mm without and 43.2+/-6.3mm with metronome guidance (p=0.09). The total number of chest compressions performed was 1022 without metronome guidance, 42% at the correct depth; and 780 with metronome guidance, 61% at the correct depth (p=0.09 for difference for percentage of compression with correct depth).
Metronome guidance corrected chest compression rates for each compression cycle to within guideline recommendations, but did not affect chest compression quality or rescuer fatigue.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine whether basic life support-defibrillation (BLS-D) training of laypersons enhances the speed of defibrillation and the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during a simulated ventricular fibrillation scenario compared with a situation where the care provider has no previous BLS-D training but receives dispatcher assistance with the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) and the performance of CPR.
Fifty-two military conscripts of the Finnish Defence Forces who without previous medical education had been tested in a simulated cardiac arrest scenario with dispatcher assistance and thereafter received a 4-h BLS-D training. Six months later they were randomly divided to form teams of two and again tested in a similar scenario but without dispatcher assistance. The time interval from collapse to first shock, hands-off time and the quality of CPR were compared between the two tests.
The quality of mouth-to-mouth ventilation was better after training, but there was only a minor improvement in the quality of compressions and the speed of defibrillation.
Training improved the quality of mouth-to-mouth ventilation performed by laypersons but had only a minor effect on defibrillation and the quality of compressions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primarily, to investigate induction of therapeutic hypothermia during prehospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using ice-cold intravenous fluids. Effects on return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), rate of rearrest, temperature and haemodynamics were assessed. Additionally, the outcome was followed until discharge from hospital.
Seventeen adult prehospital patients without obvious external causes for cardiac arrest were included. During CPR and after ROSC, paramedics infused +4 degrees C Ringer's acetate aiming at a target temperature of 33 degrees C.
ROSC was achieved in 13 patients, 11 of whom were admitted to hospital. Their mean initial nasopharyngeal temperature was 35.17+/-0.57 degrees C (95% CI), and their temperature on hospital admission was 33.83+/-0.77 degrees C (-1.34 degrees C, p<0.001). The mean infused volume of cold fluid was 1571+/-517 ml. The rate of rearrest after ROSC was not increased compared to previous reports. Hypotension was observed in five patients. Of the 17 patients, 1 survived to hospital discharge.
Induction of therapeutic hypothermia during prehospital CPR and after ROSC using ice-cold Ringer's solution effectively decreased nasopharyngeal temperature. The treatment was easily carried out and well tolerated.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the cause of deaths after witnessed cardiac arrest followed by pulseless electrical activity and unsuccessful of out-of-hospital resuscitation; and to detect any differences between causes of death determined at autopsy and those inferred from clinical history.
In this prospective observational study, data were collected from 91 individuals treated by the emergency medical services in three urban communities in southern Finland.
Cause of death was determined at autopsy in 59 cases and without autopsy in 32 cases. There were significantly more diagnoses of acute myocardial infarction and fewer of pulmonary embolism and aortic dissection and rupture among cases without autopsy compared with those followed by autopsy.
In unsuccessful resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with pulseless electrical activity as initial rhythm, an autopsy should be performed to determine the correct cause of death.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied induction of therapeutic hypothermia during prehospital resuscitation from cardiac arrest using an infusion of ice-cold Ringer's solution in five adult patients.
Paramedics infused +4 degrees C Ringer's solution into the antecubital vein of the patients with a maximum rate of 33 ml/min to a target temperature of 33.0 degrees C.
The mean infused volume of cold fluid was 14.0 ml/kg, which resulted in a mean decrease of 2.5 degrees C in nasopharyngeal temperature. The decrease in temperature continued after the cessation of infusion in two patients, causing suboptimal temperatures below 32 degrees C.
We conclude that the infusion of small volumes of ice-cold Ringer's solution during resuscitation results in an effective decrease in nasopharyngeal temperature. Caution should be taken to avoid temperatures below the range of mild therapeutic hypothermia.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To report prospectively the outcome from prehospital cardiac arrest according to the Utstein template in the city of Tampere, Finland, with special reference to those patients in whom resuscitation was not attempted.
In Tampere (population 203,000), a two-tiered emergency medical service (EMS) system provides first response and basic life support (BLS), supported by advanced life support (ALS) units staffed with nurse-paramedics. We analysed all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests considered for resuscitation during a 12-month period.
Of 191 patients with prehospital cardiac arrest, resuscitation was not attempted in 98 patients (51%). Reasons to withhold from resuscitation were estimated futility (97 cases) and a do-not-attempt-resuscitation order (1). Sixty percent of the patients with no resuscitation had secondary signs of death, 97% had asystole as the initial cardiac rhythm and 98% had suffered an unwitnessed cardiac arrest. Resuscitation was successful in 45 of the remaining 93 patients with attempted resuscitation. Twelve patients were discharged (overall survival rate 13%), nine of them with a CPC score of 1 or 2. Fifteen patients were treated with therapeutic hypothermia. Of the bystander-witnessed cardiac arrests with VF as initial rhythm, 29% survived.
The Tampere EMS system initiated resuscitation less frequently than reported from other EMS systems, but the reasons to withhold resuscitation seemed justified. The overall and Utstein's 'golden standard' survival rates were comparable with previous reports.