Improving survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Richard Lyon
October 2010

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a leading cause of prehospital mortality and serious neurological morbidity. Survival from OHCA almost entirely depends on prehospital intervention by ambulance personnel. Recent evidence has shown the importance of good quality cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in improving outcome from OHCA. Recent studies have suggested that intubation, intravenous cannulation and drug administration may distract from basic CPR and be associated with poor outcomes following OHCA. This article reviews the latest evidence on prehospital OHCA management and presents the case for a ‘back to basics’ approach.

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