Transthoracic Incremental Monophasic Versus Biphasic Defibrillation by Emergency Responders (TIMBER)
A Randomized Comparison of Monophasic With Biphasic Waveform Ascending Energy Defibrillation for the Resuscitation of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest due to Ventricular Fibrillation
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Background— Although biphasic, as compared with monophasic, waveform defibrillation for cardiac arrest is increasing in use and popularity, whether it is truly a more lifesaving waveform is unproven.
Methods and Results— Consecutive adults with nontraumatic out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest were randomly allocated to defibrillation according to the waveform from automated external defibrillators administered by prehospital medical providers. The primary event of interest was admission alive to the hospital. Secondary events included return of rhythm and circulation, survival, and neurological outcome. Providers were blinded to automated defibrillator waveform. Of 168 randomized patients, 80 (48%) and 68 (40%) consistently received only monophasic or biphasic waveform shocks, respectively, throughout resuscitation. The prevalence of ventricular fibrillation, asystole, or organized rhythms at 5, 10, or 20 seconds after each shock did not differ significantly between treatment groups. The proportion of patients admitted alive to the hospital was relatively high: 73% in monophasic and 76% in biphasic treatment groups (P=0.58). Several favorable trends were consistently associated with receipt of biphasic waveform shock, none of which reached statistical significance. Notably, 27 of 80 monophasic shock recipients (34%), compared with 28 of 68 biphasic shock recipients (41%), survived (P=0.35). Neurological outcome was similar in both treatment groups (P=0.4). Earlier administration of shock did not significantly alter the performance of one waveform relative to the other, nor did shock waveform predict any clinical outcome after multivariate adjustment.
Conclusions— No statistically significant differences in outcome could be ascribed to use of one waveform over another when out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation was treated.
Received April 26, 2006; revision received September 7, 2006; accepted September 12, 2006.