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Contact: Darcy Spitz
American Heart Association

Changes needed to improve in-hospital cardiac arrest care, survival

American Heart Association Scientific Advisory

Policy and practice changes by healthcare institutions, providers and others could greatly improve medical care and improve survival for people who have a sudden cardiac arrest in the hospital, according to an American Heart Association consensus statement in its journal, Circulation.

Each year, more than 200,000 adults and 6,000 children have in-hospital cardiac arrests, and survival has remained essentially unchanged for decades, statement authors said. According to the American Heart Association, only 24.2 percent of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients survive to hospital discharge.

Much more could be done to improve in-hospital cardiac arrest care by providers, institutions and the healthcare system, authors said.

A big obstacle to better care for in-hospital cardiac arrest is the inability to gather reliable data, said Laurie Morrison, M.D., M.Sc., statement lead author. "We must be able to count how many in-hospital cardiac arrests occur and report comparable outcomes across institutions -- and apply the science to everyday care more quickly," said Morrison, also the Robert and Dorothy Pitts Chair in Acute Care & Emergency Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

The statement's key recommendations include:


Co-authors are Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D.; Janice L. Zimmerman, M.D.; Mark S. Link, M.D.; L. Kristin Newby, M.D., M.H.S.; Paul W. McMullan, Jr., M.D.; Terry Vanden Hoek, M.D.; Colleen C. Halverson, R.N., M.S.; Lynn Doering, R.N., D.N.Sc.; Mary Ann Peberdy, M.D. and Dana P. Edelson, M.D., M.S.

Read more about the long term care of sudden cardiac arrest, including the treatment of post-cardiac arrest syndrome. The American Heart Association also has more about how Get With The Guidelines®-Resuscitation is improving hospital care.

Follow @HeartNews on Twitter for the latest heart and stroke news. For science updates from the journal Circulation, follow @CircAHA.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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