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Successful cardiac arrest resuscitation? Congratulations, but you're not done

from Emergency Medicine News

The goal of cardiac arrest resuscitation is to minimize downtime and obtain and support the return of spontaneous circulation. Once the heart is beating and the patient has at least a palpable blood pressure, most emergency physicians think their clinical tasks are essentially finished, congratulating themselves on a successful resuscitation. But the next step should be an attempt to ferret out the cause of the cardiac arrest, obtain basic blood work, repeat the electrocardiogram, perhaps initiate hypothermia, consult cardiology, and expedite transfer to the coronary care unit. Other interventions, such as IV fluids, vasopressors, and antiarrhythmics, are occasionally required, but unfortunately, the long-term survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients with normal neurologic function is quite poor. more

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