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Children's Health Channel
Reported December 20, 2012

Stopping Cardiac Arrest In Kids

 

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Many children staying in hospitals are often at risk of experiencing cardiac arrest and effective resuscitation methods are necessary to not only save lives, but also prevent brain damage. According to a recent study, significantly more children are surviving cardiac arrest in the hospital, suggesting great improvement in resuscitation practices. 
 
Between 2000 and 2009, researchers evaluated1,031 children who had a cardiac arrest while staying in one of twelve different teaching hospitals in the United States. 
 
What the study found was a positive trend in the number of children who survived cardiac arrest over the past decade. 
 
Also, the rates of children who suffered brain impairment did not increase.
“Survival in children who experience a cardiac arrest in the hospital has increased nearly threefold during the past decade, and most of those who survive are without severe neurological disability,” lead study author Saket Girotra, M.D., an interventional cardiologist from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was quoted as saying. 
 
The increased survival rates are thought to be a result of a multitude of improvements in the quality of resuscitation, including early recognition of cardiac arrest and high quality chest compressions. 
Study researchers did attempt to discover if better care post-resuscitation when underlying illnesses are treated and organ function is supported or better care during resuscitation is responsible for the increased survival. 
 
The care provided in the resuscitation phase was shown to have the most improvement, although both had gains despite the 85% of children with “non-shockable” initial heart rhythms, which in the past have had lower survival rates. 
 
“What was striking was that, despite this trend, survival still improved,” Dr. Girotra was quoted as saying. 
These results are very reassuring and hopefully actions to further improve resuscitation standards in hospitals will only lead to higher rates of survival. 
 
However, the advancements seen in this study may be skewed because the hospitals used in the study all participated in the Get With the Guidelines – Resuscitation Program, possibly raising their survival rates higher than hospitals that were not involved with the program. 
 
Source: Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, December 2012
 

 

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