Cardiac Arrest in the Operating Room: Part 2—Special Situations in the Perioperative Period

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As noted in part 1 of this series, periprocedural cardiac arrest (PPCA) can differ greatly in etiology and treatment from what is described by the American Heart Association advanced cardiac life support algorithms, which were largely developed for use in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and in-hospital cardiac arrest outside of the perioperative space. Specifically, there are several life-threatening causes of PPCA of which the management should be within the skill set of all anesthesiologists. However, previous research has demonstrated that continued review and training in the management of these scenarios is greatly needed and is also associated with improved delivery of care and outcomes during PPCA. There is a growing body of literature describing the incidence, causes, treatment, and outcomes of common causes of PPCA (eg, malignant hyperthermia, massive trauma, and local anesthetic systemic toxicity) and the need for a better awareness of these topics within the anesthesiology community at large. As noted in part 1 of this series, these events are always witnessed by a member of the perioperative team, frequently anticipated, and involve rescuer–providers with knowledge of the patient and the procedure they are undergoing or have had. Formulation of an appropriate differential diagnosis and rapid application of targeted interventions are critical for good patient outcome. Resuscitation algorithms that include the evaluation and management of common causes leading to cardiac in the perioperative setting are presented. Practicing anesthesiologists need a working knowledge of these algorithms to maximize good outcomes.

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