Spotlight on research

This research examines whether it is more effective to shock a patient in cardiac arrest immediately, or whether it is better to carry out 3 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before defibrillation. Over a period of 761 days, the South Australian Ambulance Service participated in a randomized control trial (RCT) that included 202 patients who were in ventricular fibrillation (VF) cardiac arrest. These patients were randomized into two groups: one group received immediate defibrillation (n=105); the other group received CPR first (n=97). Overall, 28 patients survived the arrest and were discharged from hospital. Eighteen of the surviving patients were defibrillated immediately, and 10 were given CPR first before defibrillation. Overall, the authors conclude that there is no benefit to delivering 3 minutes of CPR before first defibrillation in out-of-hospital VF cardiac arrest. In addition, an unexpected finding emerged from a major challenge encountered within this RCT. The resuscitation guidelines changed midway through the study, and this resulted in a change of clinical practice in the management of cardiac arrest, which clearly has to be considered in any interpretation of the results. Although the authors emphasize that their analysis of this change did not demonstrate statistical significance, they indicate that the data collected demonstrate a strong trend towards improved survival rates after the implementation of the new resuscitation guidelines.

Subscribe to get full access to the Journal of Paramedic Practice

Thank you for vising the Journal of Paramedic Practice and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the only journal dedicated to those working in emergency care, you can start your subscription today for just £48.

CPD Focus

Reading the Journal of Paramedic Practice counts towards your professional development

Develop your career

We provide professional information dedicated to paramedics covering training, education and jobs

Stay informed

Get the latest clinical information to ensure you are aware of the latest think and best practice in paramedicne

Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with Journal of Paramedic Practice!

Sign up to Journal of Paramedic Practice’s regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.