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Management after resuscitation from cardiac arrest 

Management after resuscitation from cardiac arrest
Management after resuscitation from cardiac arrest

Jerry P. Nolan

and Michael J. A. Parr

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date: 05 July 2022

Systemic ischaemia during cardiac arrest and the reperfusion response after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) cause the post-cardiac arrest syndrome (PCAS). The severity and duration of this syndrome is determined by the cause and duration of cardiac arrest, quality of resuscitation, and interventions after ROSC. Four key clinical components are recognized—post-cardiac arrest brain injury, myocardial dysfunction, other organ ischaemia/reperfusion (e.g. liver, kidney), and potential persistence of the precipitating pathology causing the cardiac arrest. The interventions applied after ROSC impact significantly on the quality of survival. All components of the PCAS need to be addressed if outcome is to be optimized; treatment should start immediately after ROSC. An ‘ABCDE’ (Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure) systems approach is used to identify and treat physiological abnormalities and organ injury. All survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be considered for urgent coronary angiography unless the cause of cardiac arrest is clearly non-cardiac or continued treatment is considered futile. Targeted temperature management (mild hypothermia and avoidance of hyperthermia) should be considered for those patients who remain comatose after ROSC. If targeted temperature management has been used, early prognostication on outcome is unreliable and should be delayed until 3 days after return to normothermia; it should not rely on just one modality.

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