The term cardiac arrest refers to the electrical malfunction of the heart, which causes the flow of blood to the lungs, brain, and other organs to be disrupted. It’s worth noting that one of the leading causes of death is cardiac arrest. In the United States, 350 000 out-of-hospital cases occur each year.
When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their survival depends on receiving CPR from someone nearby. In other words, someone nearby could potentially save a life. According to statistics, 90 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital do not survive.
Survival Rates- In Hospital
The CPR is one of the most common medical interventions in the hospitals. Different hospitals report different survival rates concerning CPR. The factors that determine the CPR survival rates in the hospitals includes the number and extent of specialized cardiac units, the type of hospital in question, the definition of outcome, and the criteria of inclusion.
According to the Institute of Medicine, 200, 000 cases of cardiac arrest are reported in the hospital. Out of this figure, only 24 % survive. According to Cabanas et al (2015), the survival rate of OOH- CA is dependent on the numerator (that is the surviving cases) as well as the denominator (the total cases).
Survival Rate- Out of Hospital
According to researchers, 70 % of all cases of out of hospital cases take place at home. In that figure, only 46 % are able to get assistance before professional assistance arrives. There are different data and statistics concerning the survival rates in out of hospital survival rates on cardiac arrest. This paper is going to mention a few of them.
According to the Institute of Medicine, there are 395, 000 cases related to cardiac arrest in the US every year which occurs outside the hospital. Out of this figure, only 6 % survive.
Larsen et al (2014), developed a graphic model that sought to explore the survival rate when it comes to the out of hospital cardiac arrest. One of the objectives of the study was determining the time interval between collapse and the CPR. The multiple linear regression model found out that the survival rate within a minute of collapse was 67 %.
What Impacts Survival Rates
When one suffers a case of cardiac arrest, each minute passed has a direct impact on the survival rate, and survival without having a disability. Again, the survival rate largely depends on the location of the cardiac arrest.
Robert Graham, writing from George Washington University, says that the survival rates of cardiac arrest are unexpectedly low. He acknowledges that there is a deeper understanding and breakthrough when it comes to handling cardiac arrest. However, he says that there is inconsistency when it comes to high quality care as well as giving timely interventions.
The National Academy of Sciences points out that there is a wide disparity when it comes to the survival rates of cardiac arrest. It should be noted that other conditions such as advanced age, cirrhosis, renal failure, and AIDS have a direct impact on the survival rates when it comes to cardiac arrest.
How to Improve This Rates
There has been reports that cardiac arrest in public places have been better managed through the use of AED and not through the use of CPR as expected. However, CPR has been effective too. The following is a three point action on how a bystander ought to respond to cardiac arrest:
-Upon seeing a medical emergency, a bystander should first and foremost call the emergency number 911. When answering the dispatcher’s call, one should be as specific as possible, eg, giving the exact location. The time of call does not in any way affect the time taken to respond to the emergency.
-The bystander should initiate CPR through chest compressions repetitively. The assumption here is that the bystander has basic information on how to carry out CPR awaiting the help of professional medics.
-There should be ample information provided to other people so that they can do the required action. These include first responders, bystanders, and family members. In other words, tackling cardiac arrest is a community issue. The higher the level of awareness by the community, the higher the survival rate.
Readers should note that though the terms cardiac arrest and heart attack are often used interchangeably, they are not one and the same thing. On one hand, a heart attack takes place due to a blockage of the blood that is flowing to the heart. This may take place due to narrowing of the coronary artery or its total blockade. Its symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, as well as pain. The goal of treatment is the re-opening of the arteries and restoring the flow of blood as soon as realistically possible.
On the other hand, a cardiac arrest takes place due to the disturbance of the electrical activity of the heart thereby causing the heart to stop beating. This can be caused by an imbalance of the electrolytes or a genetic mutation (through inheritance). The main symptom of cardiac arrest includes instant loss of one’s consciousness. When dealing with cardiac arrest, the main goal of treatment is returning circulation and restoring the electric rhythm.
The public must be taught on the best way of providing life support (Graham et al, 2015). A critical part of the training is identifying if the case in question is cardiac arrest in the first place. A mistake in this could lead to very fatal consequences. One should be careful to certify that it is cardiac arrest prior to any action (Lynch et al, 2013).
There should be a comprehensive legal framework that guides the use of medical devices that deal with cardiac arrest. A case in point in the thin line of demarcation between saving lives and law is the case of Vascular Solutions. Howard Root founded Vascular Solutions in order to provide medical devices that saved life (Root and Saltarelli, 2017). He was later to be slapped by a hefty legal fee and a threat to spend time behind bars.
On an optimistic note, there are promising solutions towards tacking the problems associated
with CPR. Victor Dzau, the president at the Institute of Medicine, says that the response
to cardiac arrest can be levered through the use of the current and emerging technologies. The
public as well as the health professionals should take advantage of the emerging technologies in
order to make the best decisions concerning CPR.
There is a need to establish a national registry that is going to ensure a comprehensive recording of the cases of cardiac arrest. This will ensure that any decisions made are based on thorough information and decision making. In addition to that, such a registry will help in seeking the relevant funding including the donor funding.
The hospital setting needs improvement too. In particular, the management of the hospital ought to be conversant with the accreditation requirements. In addition to that, hospitals ought to be conscious about the local, state, and federal laws that govern such medical situations.
There ought to be a better management of the issue of cardiac arrest at the national level. This will play a critical role in harmonizing the issue of cardiac arrest in the US. Moreover, interested groups can speak with one voice.
Cardiac arrest ranks third in the killer disease in the US (only behind cancer and heart disease). It is therefore a big problem facing the American society. In this regard, the community should be sensitized on the best ways of countering such a problem. Overall, an effective CPR is going to double or even can triple the survival chances of an individual.
Cabanas, J. G., Brown, L. H., Gonzales, L., & Hinchey, P. R. (2015). Derivation and initial
application of a standard population for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (SPOHCA).
Resuscitation, 90, 30-34.
Graham, R., McCoy, M. A., & Schultz, A. M. (Eds.). (2015). Strategies to improve cardiac arrest
survival: a time to act. National Academies Press.
Larsen, M. P., Eisenberg, M. S., Cummins, R. O., & Hallstrom, A. P. (2014). Predicting survival
from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a graphic model. Annals of emergency medicine,
Lynch, B., Einspruch, E. L., Nichol, G., Becker, L. B., Aufderheide, T. P., & Idris, A. (2013).
Effectiveness of a 30-min CPR self-instruction program for lay responders: a controlled
randomized study. Resuscitation, 67(1), 31-43.
Root, H., & Saltarelli, S. (2017). Cardiac Arrest: Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO On the
Feds’ Hit-List. Cork: BookBaby.
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