Monday January 21, 2019

CPR Survival Rates Lower Than Most People Think

In a scenario describing a trauma-related cardiac arrest in an 8-year-old, 71 percent predicted CPR success and 64 percent predicted long-term survival of the child

0
//
cpr
Participants practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important life skill to know. VOA

The majority of people believe cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is successful more often than it tends to be in reality, according to a small U.S. study.

This overly optimistic view, which may partly stem from seeing happy outcomes in television medical dramas, can get in the way of decision-making and frank conversations about end of life care with doctors, the research team writes in American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

CPR is intended to restart a heart that has stopped beating, known as cardiac arrest, which is typically caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart muscle. Although a heart attack is not the same thing — it occurs when blood flow to the heart is partly or completely blocked, often by a clot — a heart attack can also cause the heart to stop beating.

ALSO READ: 98 Percent Indians not aware of life-saving technique CPR during Heart Attack

cpr
More often than not, cardiac arrest ends in death or severe neurological impairment. Pixabay

Odds of surviving

Whatever the cause of cardiac arrest, restarting the heart as quickly as possible to get the blood flowing to the brain is essential to prevent permanent brain damage.

The overall rate of survival that leads to hospital discharge for someone who experiences cardiac arrest is about 10.6 percent, the study authors note. But most participants in the study estimated it at more than 75 percent.

“The majority of patients and non-medical personnel have very unrealistic expectations about the success of CPR as well as the quality of life after patients are revived,” said lead author Lindsey Ouellette, a research assistant at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids.

Patients and family members should know about the real success rate and survival numbers when planning a living will and considering a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, Ouellette said.

“We think it is best to have the latest and most accurate information when dealing with this life-impacting decision, whether or not to undertake or continue CPR,” she told Reuters Health in an email.

cpr
In addition to asking about general knowledge of CPR and personal experiences with CPR, the researchers presented participants with several scenarios and asked them to estimate the likelihood of CPR success and patient survival in each case. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Men with Heart Disease More Prone to Cardiac Arrest During or After Sex

Good TV, not good information

To gauge perceptions of CPR, the researchers surveyed 1,000 adults at four academic medical centers in Michigan, Illinois, and California. Participants included non-critically ill patients and families of patients, who were interviewed during random hospital shifts.

One scenario involved a 54-year-old who suffered a heart attack at home and required CPR by paramedics. About 72 percent of the survey participants predicted survival and 65 percent predicted a complete neurological recovery.

In a scenario describing a trauma-related cardiac arrest in an 8-year-old, 71 percent predicted CPR success and 64 percent predicted long-term survival of the child.

“Many people felt if a person was successfully revived, they would return to ‘normal’ rather than possibly needing lifelong care,” Ouellette said.

At the same time, more than 70 percent of respondents said they watched TV medical dramas regularly, and 12 percent said these shows were a reliable source of health information.

“Tempering unrealistic expectations may not make for ‘good TV,’ but perhaps we can get a better idea of just how these dramas may impact the views people hold about CPR and other aspects of medicine,” she said.

ALSO READ: Cardiac arrest may be fatal for those living in high rise buildings

cpr
CPR should be part of the conversation about end-of-life care and advanced directives among families, said Carolyn Bradley of Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. Pixabay

Medical act, not miracle

“People think about CPR as a miracle, but it’s another medical act,” said Dr. Juan Ruiz-Garcia of Hospital Universitario de Torrejon in Madrid who wasn’t involved in the study. “I’m not really sure what people would choose if they knew the real prognosis of it,” he told Reuters Health by phone.

“When doing CPR at a hospital, we tend to move the family away, but we’ve created a situation where families may not be there for the final moments,” she said in a phone interview.

“Have a critical conversation with your health care provider and go with questions about what would happen during CPR,” she said. “What does it look like? What happens to my body? Who will be around? It could be the end-of-life. Statistically, it is.” (VOA)

Next Story

Anti-inflammatory Drugs May Put You at Heart Attack Risk

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted

0
Heart Attack, women
Anti-inflammatory drugs may put you at heart attack risk. Pixabay

If you have been hit by the winter cold and are thinking about taking medicines that relieve your aches, pains and congestion, be careful. Those may also put your heart at risk, the American Heart Association has warned.

A study has showed that both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.

People who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants. And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider,” said Sondra DePalma, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

Decongestants like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine constrict blood vessels. They allow less fluid into your sinuses, “which dries you up”, said Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Univerity’s Ciccarone Center in Baltimore.

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said, in the paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

heart disease
Representational image. (IANS)

Importantly, healthy people might also be at risk.

For the study, researchers looked at nearly 10,000 people with respiratory infections who were hospitalised for heart attacks.

Participants were 72 years old on average at the time of their heart attacks and many had cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Also Read- Microsoft Unveils e-commerce Portal For Telangana’s Handloom Weavers

People who are sick should use both classes of medications — decongestants and NSAIDs — judiciously and understand the potential side effects.

In addition, decongestants should not be taken longer than seven days before consulting with a healthcare provider, DePalma said.

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted.  (IANS)