ABSTRACT: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is common and is associated with high mortality. The majority of in-hospital deaths from resuscitated victims of cardiac arrest are due to neurologic injury. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is now recommended for the management of comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. The rapid triage and standardized treatment of cardiac arrest patients can be challenging, and implementation of a TH program requires a multidisciplinary team approach. In 2010, we revised our institution's TH protocol, creating a "CODE ICE" pathway to improve the timely and coordinated care of cardiac arrest patients. As part of CODE ICE, we implemented comprehensive care pathways including measures such as a burst paging system and computerized physician support tools. "STEMI on ICE" integrates TH with our regional ST-elevation myocardial infarction network. Retrospective data were collected on 150 consecutive comatose cardiac arrest victims treated with TH (n = 82 pre-CODE ICE and n = 68 post-CODE ICE) from 2007 to 2011. After implementation of CODE ICE, the mean time to initiation of TH decreased from 306 ± 165 minutes to 196 ± 144 minutes (P < 0.001), and the time to target temperature decreased from 532 ± 214 minutes to 392 ± 215 minutes (P < 0.001). There was no significant change in survival or neurologic outcome at hospital discharge. Through the implementation of CODE ICE, we were able to reduce the time to initiation of TH and time to reach target temperature. Additional studies are needed to determine the effect of CODE ICE and similar pathways on clinical outcomes after cardiac arrest.
Critical pathways in cardiology 09/2012; 11(3):91-8.