A review by thought leaders Thomas Rea, MD, Peter J. Kudenchuk, MD, Michael R. Sayre, MD, Ann Doll, and Mickey Eisenberg, MD, was just published in Resuscitation
Advances in resuscitation following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) provide an opportunity to improve public health. This review reflects on past developments, present status, and future possibilities using the science-education-implementation framework of the Utstein Formula and the clinical framework of the links in the chain of survival. With the discovery of CPR and defibrillation in the mid 20th century, resuscitation developed a scientific construct for progress. Systems of emergency community response provided operational efficiency to treat OHCA.
Contemporary resuscitation involves integrated interventions in the chain of survival: early recognition, early CPR, early defibrillation, expert and timely advanced life support and hospital care, and multidimensional rehabilitation. Implementation of scientific advances is especially challenging given the unexpected nature of OHCA, the need for time-sensitive interventions, and the substantial collective of stakeholders involved in the chain of survival. Systematic measurement provides the foundation to evaluate performance and guide implementation initiatives. For many systems, telecommunicator CPR and high-performance CPR by emergency professionals are accessible, near-term programs to improve OHCA outcome. Smart technologies that activate, coordinate, and/or coach community “volunteers” to accelerate early CPR and defibrillation have conceptual promise, though robust implementation has been achieved by only a handful of systems. Longer-term strategies may leverage technology to develop a high-fidelity “life-detector” or engineer and disseminate a specialized consumer defibrillator designed to bridge care until arrival of professional response.