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Improving Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Improving Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 200,000 adults and 6,000 children have in-hospital cardiac arrests (IHCAs) each year, and survival has remained relatively unchanged for decades. Research shows that only about one-quarter of IHCA patients survive to hospital discharge. “IHCA has not received the same level of focused research as out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA),” says Laurie J. Morrison, MD, MSc. “There are many gaps in science, policy, and institutional application and accountability for the care of IHCA patients.” Recently, the AHA released a consensus statement on strategies for improving survival after IHCA. Published in an issue of Circulation, the scientific statement is organized into four sections, based on scientific evidence from IHCA studies or reasonable extrapolation from the literature on OHCA. These include: 1) epidemiology, 2) best practices, 3) culture change and standardized reporting and benchmarking, and 4) conclusions and recommendations. “The consensus statement on IHCA gives healthcare providers, clinical leaders, administrators, regulators, and policymakers an overview of the various issues related to reporting, planning, and performing best practices for IHCA,” says Dr. Morrison, who was lead author of the AHA’s scientific statement. “It also documents what is known and should be applied to ongoing care and what is unknown about IHCA and should be researched to advance care.” Gathering Reliable Data on In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest According to the AHA, there is great variation across the country in how IHCAs are defined and counted and whether or not they are reported annually. “A serious obstacle to providing better care for IHCAs is the inability to gather reliable data,” says Dr. Morrison. “We must be able to...
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