A description of echocardiography in life support use during cardiac arrest in an Emergency Department before and after a training programme

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Abstract

Objectives

To investigate echocardiography in life support (ELS) use in Emergency Department (ED) cardiac arrest patients before and after a training day.

Methods

A prospective before and after cohort study. Data was collated over a 24-month period before and after an ELS training day from our ED ultrasound database [Registry of Emergency Based Ultrasound Scanning (REBUS)], ED electronic patient records and from stored digital ELS scans.

Results

In the year before ELS training, eight of 187 cardiac arrest patients had ELS performed (4.3%). In the year after training, 46 of 232 cardiac arrest patients had ELS performed (19.8%; P<0.001). This increase has persisted with 40 of 129 (31%) patients undergoing ELS in the 6 months poststudy period. ELS aided management in six of eight pretraining cases and 32 of 46 post-training cases.

Conclusion

Use of ELS significantly increased after the training day most commonly supporting a decision to stop resuscitation. This change in practice has been maintained.

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