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Circulation. 2010 Nov 2;122(18 Suppl 3):S768-86. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.971002.

Part 9: post-cardiac arrest care: 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.

Erratum in

  • Circulation. 2011 Feb 15;123(6):e237.
  • Circulation. 2011 Oct 11;124(15):e403.


The goal of immediate post-cardiac arrest care is to optimize systemic perfusion, restore metabolic homeostasis, and support organ system function to increase the likelihood of intact neurological survival. The post-cardiac arrest period is often marked by hemodynamic instability as well as metabolic abnormalities. Support and treatment of acute myocardial dysfunction and acute myocardial ischemia can increase the probability of survival. Interventions to reduce secondary brain injury, such as therapeutic hypothermia, can improve survival and neurological recovery. Every organ system is at risk during this period, and patients are at risk of developing multiorgan dysfunction. The comprehensive treatment of diverse problems after cardiac arrest involves multidisciplinary aspects of critical care, cardiology, and neurology. For this reason, it is important to admit patients to appropriate critical-care units with a prospective plan of care to anticipate, monitor, and treat each of these diverse problems. It is also important to appreciate the relative strengths and weaknesses of different tools for estimating the prognosis of patients after cardiac arrest.

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