In cardiac arrest do CPR and also give IV amiodarone
Anti-arrhythmic injections when given by paramedics to patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who had failed electrical shock treatment, improves likelihood of patients surviving transport to the hospital.
The study is published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The trial shows that amiodarone and lidocaine offer hope for bringing patients back to life and into the hospital after cardiac arrest.
There was a significant improvement in survival to hospital discharge with either drug when the cardiac arrest was bystander-witnessed.
A bystander-witnessed cardiac arrest is one that is witnessed by another person.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly or unexpectedly stops beating, cutting off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs.
Only about 10 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. Effective treatments, such as CPR and defibrillation, can greatly increase a victim’s chance of survival. This study adds the possibility of additional benefit from the use of the heart rhythm medications.
The 3-5 percent increase in survival reported in this trial means 1,800 additional lives could potentially be saved each year from cardiac arrest.