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Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2002 Nov;20(4):759-70.

Prehospital ACLS--does it work?

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  • 1Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute, Sparrow Health System, Michigan State University, 1200 E, Michigan Avenue, Suite 525, East Lansing, MI 48912, USA.


Cardiac disease is the most common cause of death in the United States, and sudden cardiac arrest frequently claims the lives of men and women during their most productive years. It is believed that much better survival rates can be achieved for victims of cardiac arrest through optimizing the "chain of survival" as described by the American Heart Association. The relative and incremental benefit of full prehospital ACLS over basic life support and defibrillation is unproven, however. This is an important issue in this era of cost containment. Some of the ongoing studies including the OPALS study may clarify the cost effectiveness and relative efficacy of rapid defibrillation and full ACLS programs for victims of prehospital cardiac arrest [6].

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