Prehospital trial of emergency transcutaneous cardiac pacing.
A prospective alternate-day controlled trial of prehospital transcutaneous cardiac pacing (PACE) of hemodynamically significant bradycardia and asystole was undertaken. All patients had a Glasgow coma scale score of 12 or less. Patients in the control group (n = 101) received standard advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) care. Patients in the pacing group (n = 101) were to receive PACE in addition to standard ACLS treatment; 89 patients were actually paced. The two groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, presenting rhythm, and mean times to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and ACLS. For the 144 patients in whom the time of arrest could be estimated, the mean times to CPR and ACLS were 5.3 +/- 4.0 and 10.9 +/- 7.1 min, respectively. For the 65 paced patients in whom the time of arrest could be estimated, the mean time from arrest to pacing was 21.8 +/- 8.8 min (range 2 to 43). Multivariate analysis of outcome variables (presentation to emergency department with a pulse, admission to the hospital, and discharge from the hospital) revealed that an initial rhythm of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation and a short time to ACLS were correlated with a favorable outcome (p less than .05; logistic regression analysis). A short time to PACE was associated with admission to the hospital (p = .20; logistic regression analysis). The use of a stand-alone transcutaneous pacing device in the prehospital arrest setting was associated with generally long times until pacing and did not appreciably improve outcome. Use of PACE in patients demonstrating prehospital bradycardia without neurologic impairment remains to be evaluated.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association