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Survival After Cardiac Arrest in ICU May Depend on Cause

Survival After Cardiac Arrest in ICU May Depend on Cause

08/15/11

MONDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term survival rates are low for intensive care unit (ICU) patients who suffer certain types of cardiac arrest, a new study finds.

Canadian researchers looked at data from 517 patients, average age 67, who suffered cardiac arrest while in the ICUs of four Alberta hospitals. Of these patients, 27 percent survived to hospital discharge, 24 percent for one year, and 16 percent for five years.

General ICU patients were more likely to die than those in coronary care or cardiac surgical ICUs.

Pulseless electrical activity, asystolic arrest (absence of heartbeat) and a longer period of resuscitation were among the factors associated with a high risk of death after cardiac arrest in the ICU.

"Although overall survival among ICU patients may have greatly improved, survival among those experiencing cardiac arrest in the ICU, particularly arrest due to pulseless electrical activity or asystole, remained comparatively poor," Dr. Demetrios Kutsogiannis, University of Alberta, and colleagues wrote in a journal news release.

"We hope this study will help inform the public about outcomes after arrests in hospital intensive and coronary care units," they continued. "It is hoped that improved informed decision-making regarding end-of-life resuscitation attempts may occur between patients, families and their physicians prior to serious illness and potential coronary or ICU care."

The study is published Aug. 15 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about cardiac arrest.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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