Supportive technology in the resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To discuss the increasing value of technological tools to assess and augment the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and, in turn, improve chances of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Recent findings

After decades of disappointing survival rates, various emergency medical services systems worldwide are now seeing a steady rise in OHCA survival rates guided by newly identified ‘sweet spots’ for chest compression rate and chest compression depth, aided by monitoring for unnecessary pauses in chest compressions as well as methods to better ensure full-chest recoil after compressions. Quality-assurance programs facilitated by new technologies that monitor chest compression rate, chest compression depth, and/or frequent pauses have been shown to improve the quality of CPR. Further aided by other technologies that enhance flow or better identify the best location for hand placement, the future outlook for better survival is even more promising, particularly with the potential use of another technology – extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for OHCA.

Summary

After 5 decades of focus on manual chest compressions for CPR, new technologies for monitoring, guiding, and enhancing CPR performance may enhance outcomes from OHCA significantly in the coming years.

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