In this retrospective study of >1000 out of hospital Vtach/Vfib cardiac arrest victims, researchers evaluated outcomes before and after the initiation of a cardiac arrest protocol that minimized interruptions in chest compressions. The protocol increased the compression-ventilation ratio to 50:2, utilized initial non-rebreather ventilation (instead of bag-mask), and delayed intubation attempts until after the 3rd round of compressions (with attempts limited to 10 seconds). They found the overall survival to discharge increased from 8% to 14% (OR 1.8, CI 1.2 to 2.7) (abstract). Minimizing interruptions of chest compressions is paramount in improving the survival of Vtach/Vfib cardiac arrest victims.
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.