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Acad Emerg Med. 2018 Dec 10. doi: 10.1111/acem.13672. [Epub ahead of print]

Prehospital Double Sequential Defibrillation: A Matched Case-Control Study.

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San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, TX.
Department of Emergency Health Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO.



The goal of our study was to determine whether prehospital double sequential defibrillation (DSD) is associated with improved survival to hospital admission in the setting of refractory ventricular fibrillation/pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VF/pVT).


This project is a matched case-control study derived from prospectively collected quality assurance/quality improvement data obtained from the San Antonio Fire Department out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) database between January 2013 and December 2015. The cases were defined as OHCA patients with refractory VF/pVT who survived to hospital admission. The control group was defined as OHCA patients with refractory VF/pVT who did not survive to hospital admission. The primary variable in our study was prehospital DSD. The primary outcome of our study was survival to hospital admission.


Of 3,469 consecutive OHCA patients during the study period, 205 OHCA patients met the inclusion criterion of refractory VF/pVT. Using a predefined algorithm, two blinded researchers identified 64 unique cases and matched them with 64 unique controls. Survival to hospital admission occurred in 48.0% of DSD patients and 50.5% of the conventional therapy patients (p > 0.99; odds ratio = 0.91, 95% confidence interval = 0.40-2.1).


Our matched case-control study on the prehospital use of DSD for refractory VF/pVT found no evidence of associated improvement in survival to hospital admission. Our current protocol of considering prehospital DSD after the third conventional defibrillation in OHCA is ineffective.


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