Abstract 92: Prehospital Activation of an Emergency Department Cardiac Arrest Response Team Improves ROSC and Hypothermia Utilization
BACKGROUND: The induction of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) in comatose survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA) improves survival and neurologic recovery outcomes. Despite results from high-quality randomized control trials and international consensus statements, TH utilization rates remain low. Pre-hospital activation of specialized care teams improves outcomes at trauma, ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and stroke receiving centers. We hypothesized that pre-hospital activation of a cardiac arrest response team would augment Emergency Department resuscitation resources and thus improve TH utilization and outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients.
METHODS: An emergency department cardiac arrest response team (eCART) comprised of a cardiology fellow, pharmacist, respiratory therapist, hospital chaplain, and a therapeutic hypothermia expert (“Dr. COOL”) was created at an urban academic hospital. The eCART team was immediately activated by emergency department staff after receiving EMS radio notification of an arrest transport. We compared outcomes in consecutive adult OOHCA patients during the 8 month period before (PRE) and after (POST) instantiation of the eCART activation system.
RESULTS: Clinical characteristics of patients in the PRE (n = 46) and POST (n = 63) intervention periods were similar. The CART activation system was utilized for 97% of OOCHA cases presenting to the emergency department. Rate or return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was significantly higher during the POST vs. PRE period (37% vs. 17%, p < 0.05). Initiation of TH in eligible patients was also significantly higher during the POST vs. PRE period (100% vs. 80%, p < 0.05). No difference in the time from ROSC to TH goal temperature < 34 degrees Celsius (201 min +/- 125 vs. 212 min +/- 81, p >0.05) or cardiac catheterization laboratory utilization (43% vs. 50%, p > 0.05) was noted between POST and PRE periods respectively.
CONCLUSION: Pre-hospital activation of an eCART team is associated with improvements in ROSC rate and tended to increase TH utilization. These results suggest that rapid deployment of a specialized cardiac arrest response team to the emergency department may be an effective strategy for improving OOHCA resuscitation.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.