Recent developments in the management of patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest☆,☆☆

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Abstract

Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in Europe and the United States. Many patients who are initially resuscitated die in the hospital, and hospital survivors often have substantial neurologic dysfunction. Most cardiac arrests are caused by coronary artery disease; patients with coronary artery disease likely benefit from early coronary angiography and intervention. After resuscitation, cardiac arrest patients remain critically ill and frequently suffer cardiogenic shock and multiorgan failure. Early cardiopulmonary stabilization is important to prevent worsening organ injury. To achieve best patient outcomes, comprehensive critical care management is needed, with primary goals of stabilizing hemodynamics and preventing progressive brain injury. Targeted temperature management is frequently recommended for comatose survivors of cardiac arrest to mitigate the neurologic injury that drives outcomes. Accurate neurologic assessment is central to managing care of cardiac arrest survivors and should combine physical examination with objective neurologic testing, with the caveat that delaying neurologic prognosis is essential to avoid premature withdrawal of supportive care. A combination of clinical findings and diagnostic results should be used to estimate the likelihood of functional recovery. This review focuses on recent advances in care and specific cardiac intensive care strategies that may improve morbidity and mortality for patients after cardiac arrest.

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