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Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2012 Feb;30(1):65-75. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2011.09.008. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

The impact of the code drugs: cardioactive medications in cardiac arrest resuscitation.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The goal of treating patients who present with cardiac arrest is to intervene as quickly as possible to affect the best possible outcome. The mainstays of these interventions, including early activation of the emergency response team, early initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and early defibrillation, are essential components with demonstrated positive impact on resuscitation outcomes. Conversely, the use of the code drugs as a component of advanced life support has not benefited these patients to the same extent as the basic interventions in a general. Although short-term outcomes are improved as a function of these medications, the final outcome has not been altered significantly in most instances.

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