Sharp decrease in deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Photo: University of Gothenburg
Defibrillators save many
A total of 1,115 people suffered cardiac arrest at Sahlgrenska University Hospital between 1994 and 2002, of whom 37% survived, and 86% of those were still alive a year later. For patients who could be treated with a defibrillator, the chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest were three times higher inside hospital than outside hospital.
Longer time to treatment outside hospitalFor those who could not be treated with a defibrillator, survival was seven times higher among those in hospital. The difference is partly because it takes much longer to start defibrillation outside hospital.
“Other factors also play a role, though,” says Dr Fredriksson. “For example, most patients in hospital have a type of cardiac arrest that can be treated with a defibrillator, and the quality of CPR is better in hospital where victims can quickly be given highly advanced care.”
More victims outside hospital now surviveThe number of people surviving cardiac arrest outside hospital has nevertheless increased over the past decade.
“This is probably due to several factors, including the introduction of mechanical chest compression, but CPR by bystanders is also becoming more common, and follow-up care in hospital has improved.”9% fully survive
Helena Aaberg | idw
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