I remember when I started practicing emergency medicine a decade and a half ago it seemed that any kid who came to our ED in cardiac arrest died. I know, depressing thought. But, over the past 15 years, survival to discharge from pediatric cardiac arrest has markedly improved, at least for in-hospital arrests. This is probably mostly due to an emphasis on high-quality CPR and advances in post-resuscitation care; nonetheless the more comfortable, knowledgeable and prepared we are for the always scary critically ill pediatric patient, the more likely we will be able to resuscitate them successfully - which is always a huge save.
Journal Jam 7 - Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs Placebo in Cardiac Arrest: The ALPS Trial. In our most popular EM Cases episode to date - ACLS Guidelines Cardiac Arrest Controversies, we boldly stated, that there has never been an antiarrhythmic medication that has shown any long term survival benefit in cardiac arrest. The use of medications in cardiac arrest has been one of those things that we all do, but that we know the evidence isn’t great for. Yet Amiodarone is still in the newest AHA adult cardiac arrest algorithm for ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycarida – 300mg IV after the 3rd shock with the option to give it again at 150mg after that. Anti-arrhythmics have been shown in previous RCTs to increase the rate of return of spontaneous circulation and even increased survival to hospital admission, however none of them have been able to show a decrease in mortality or a favourable neurological outcome at hospital discharge. In other words, there has never been shown a long term survival or functional benefit - which is a bit disconcerting. But now, we have a recent large randomized, controlled trial that shines some new light on the role of anti-arrythmics in cardiac arrest - The ALPS trial: Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs placebo in out of hospital cardiac arrest. In this Journal Jam podcast, Justin Morgenstern and Anton Helman interview two authors of the ALPS trial, Dr. Laurie Morrison a world-renowned researcher in cardiac arrest and Dr. Paul Dorian, a cardiac electrophysiologist and one of Canada's leading authorities on arrhythmias about what we should take away from the ALPS trial. It turns out, it's not so simple. We also discuss the value of dual shock therapy for shock resistant ventricular fibrillation and the future of cardiac arrest care.
Welcome to the new EM Cases CritCases blog, a collaboration between Mike Betzner, the STARS air ambulance service and EM Cases' Michael Misch and Anton Helman! These are educational cases with multiple decision points where there is no strong evidence to guide us. Various strategies and opinions from providers around the world are coalesced and presented to you in an engaging format. Enjoy!
Once we've achieved ROSC our job is not over. Good post-arrest care involves maintaining blood pressure and cerebral perfusion, adequate sedation, cooling and preventing hyperthermia, considering antiarrhythmic medications, optimization of tissue oxygen delivery while avoiding hyperoxia, getting patients to PCI who need it, and looking for and treating the underlying cause. Dr. Lin and Dr. Morrison offer us their opinion on the new simplified approach to diagnosing the underlying cause of PEA arrests. We'll also discuss when it's time to terminate resuscitation or 'call the code' as well as some fascinating research on gender differences in cardiac arrest care. These co-authors of the guidelines will give us their vision of the future of cardiac arrest care and we'll wrap up the episode with a third opinion, so to speak: Dr. Weingart's take on the whole thing....
A lot has changed over the years when it comes to managing the adult in cardiac arrest. As a result, survival rates after cardiac arrest have risen steadily over the last decade. With the release of the 2015 American Heart Association ACLS Guidelines 2015 online on Oct 16th, while there aren’t a lot a big changes, there are many small but important changes we need to be aware of, and there still remains a lot of controversy. In light of knowing how to provide optimal cardio-cerebral resuscitation and improving patient outcomes, in this episode we’ll ask two Canadian co-authors of The Guidelines, Dr. Laurie Morrison and Dr. Steve Lin some of the most practice-changing and controversial questions.