Study: Most out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors emerge neurologically intact

Survivors in Wake County EMS study had a witnessed arrest with a shockable rhythm and prehospital ROSC

ORLANDO, Fla. — Most adults who survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) emerge neurologically intact, even if their resuscitations took longer than previously recommended, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Researchers from Wake County EMS, North Carolina, studied how the duration of prehospital resuscitation impacts survivors neurologically by analyzing attempted resuscitations on people who suffered cardiac arrests in an urban/suburban area from 2005 to 2014.

In general, the neurologically intact survivors had an initial cardiac rhythm that was shockable, had a bystander-witnessed arrest and achieved return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) while EMS was on the scene rather than in the ambulance or after arriving at the hospital.

Of the 3,814 resuscitations analyzed, 12.2 percent of patients survived. Of those, 83.9 percent did not have significant neurological complications from the resuscitations.

About 90 percent of the neurologically intact survivors were resuscitated in 35 minutes or less, the other 10 percent took longer than 35 minutes.

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