Effect of epinephrine and lidocaine therapy on outcome after cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation.
One hundred ninety-nine patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest persisted in ventricular fibrillation after the first defibrillation attempt and were then randomly assigned to receive either epinephrine or lidocaine before the next two shocks. The resulting electrocardiographic rhythms and outcomes for each group of patients were compared for each group and also compared with results during the prior 2 years, a period when similar patients primarily received sodium bicarbonate as initial adjunctive therapy. Asystole occurred after defibrillation with threefold frequency after repeated injection of lidocaine (15 of 59, 25%) compared with patients treated with epinephrine (four of 55, 7%) (p less than 0.02). There was no difference in the proportion of patients resuscitated after treatment with either lidocaine or epinephrine (51 of 106, 48% vs. 50 of 93, 54%) and in the proportion surviving (18, 19% vs. 21, 20%), respectively. Resuscitation (64% vs. 50%, p less than 0.005) but not survival rates (24% vs. 20%) were higher during the prior 2-year period in which initial adjunctive drug treatment for persistent ventricular fibrillation primarily consisted of a continuous infusion of sodium bicarbonate. The negative effect of lidocaine or epinephrine treatment was explained in part by their influence on delaying subsequent defibrillation attempts. Survival rates were highest (30%) in a subset of patients who received no drug therapy between shocks. We conclude that currently recommended doses of epinephrine and lidocaine are not useful for improving outcome in patients who persist in ventricular fibrillation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association