Cardiac arrest strikes almost 600,000 people each year in the United States, killing majority of them because it occurred outside of hospital, said a new report from the Institute of Medicine.
Wide disparities of survival rates exist across the US, but benchmark communities demonstrate that saving more lives is possible, especially with bystander use of CPR and automated external defibrillators, which can significantly improve survival and outcomes from cardiac arrest.
With each year, less than 3 percent of the U.S. population receives CPR training, which means the number of bystanders who can potentially help these patients is fast coming down, said the report.
To improve health outcomes, the report calls for enhancing the performance of EMS systems; improving systems of care within hospital settings; expanding research in cardiac arrest resuscitation; and educating and training the public on how to recognize cardiac arrest, contact emergency responders, administer CPR, and use automated external defibrillators.
Each year, cardiac arrest strikes more than half a million people and contributes to avoidable death and disability across the United States and it affects seemingly healthy individuals of all ages, races, and genders, often without warning, said the report.
Cardiac arrest or heart attack results in almost instantaneous loss of consciousness and collapse. Following a cardiac arrest, each minute without treatment decreases the likelihood of survival with good neurologic and functional outcomes.
The Institute of Medicine conducted a study on the current status of, and future opportunities to improve, cardiac arrest treatment and outcomes in the United States. This report examines the complete system of response to cardiac arrest in the United States and identifies opportunities within existing and new treatments, strategies, and research that promise to improve survival and recovery of patients.