Apr 8, 2010

A comprehensive investigation of cardiac arrest before and after arrival of emergency medical services

Laura S Gold, M S Eisenberg


Many of the factors that affect survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are not relevant in patients who arrest after arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). Because all arrests that occur after arrival of EMS are witnessed and care is immediate, one might expect survival to be very high. Several studies have described communities' experiences of arrest after arrival but few have compared survival rates stratified by rhythm and witness status. The purpose of this paper was to describe the characteristics of patients who arrested after arrival of EMS and to compare survival in this population to those who had witnessed and unwitnessed arrests before EMS arrival. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in King County, WA, USA. Descriptive statistics were calculated in patients whose arrests were not witnessed, in patients whose arrests were witnessed by citizens, and in those whose arrests were witnessed by EMS personnel. The majority of bystander- and EMS-witnessed arrests were initially in ventricular fibrillation (VF), but EMS-witnessed arrests were more likely to initially have been in pulseless electrical activity (PEA) than bystander-witnessed events. Patients whose arrests were witnessed by EMS had the greatest...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Ventricular Fibrillation
Emergency Care
Likelihood Functions
Incidence Studies
Myocardial Infarction
Pulse Taking
Retrospective Studies
Emergency Medical Technicians

Related Feeds


Arrhythmias are abnormalities in heart rhythms, which can be either too fast or too slow. They can result from abnormalities of the initiation of an impulse or impulse conduction or a combination of both. Here is the latest research on arrhythmias.