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Clin Cardiol. 2012 Aug;35(8):462-6. doi: 10.1002/clc.21992. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

The hospital's role in improving survival of patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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Cardiology and University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Tucson, Arizona, USA.


Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a major public health problem. Unfortunately, in spite of recurring updated guidelines, survival of patients with OHCA had been unchanged for decades. Recently, new approaches to patients with OHCA during the community and prehospital phases of therapy for cardiac arrest have resulted in a dramatic improvement in survival. Further improvement in survival has resulted from hospitals designated as Cardiac Receiving Centers. These centers are committed to the treatment of post-cardiac arrest syndrome by providing 24/7 therapeutic mild hypothermia, urgent cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention, evidence-based termination of resuscitation protocols that limit premature withdrawal of care, protocol to address organ donation, commitment of cardiocerebral resuscitation training in their community, and a commitment and proven ability of data collection to assure that instituted changes result in improved survival. This newer aspect of hospital practice is an aspect that needs to be embraced by either becoming a Cardiac Receiving Center or partnering with other hospitals that can provide this critically important service.

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