Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Measurement and Feedback Tools - Monitoring CPR Quality in Real Time

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 300,000 people each year, with half of those cases occurring out of hospital. Despite advancements in defibrillation equipment and increased attention on CPR, only 5–10% of SCA victims leave the hospital alive. These bleak statistics illustrate the urgency for improving and implementing the chain of survival in order to increase the rate of survival to hospital discharge for cardiac arrest patients. The good news: Over the past few years, we have begun to see real improvements in survival rates in many communities.

Following SCA recognition and bystander assistance, EMS arrival and assumption of care becomes the most critical link in sustaining the life of a cardiac arrest victim. It cannot be overemphasized that high-quality CPR performance is essential for successful resuscitation.

In an attempt to improve performance, CPR measurement and feedback systems, such as the Philips HeartStart MRx with Q-CPR*, monitor performance and provide real-time feedback to the caregiver. Such devices measure compression rate, depth and ventilation characteristics in order to ensure high-quality CPR performance during an actual cardiac arrest. Recent studies in both EMS and hospital care have shown improved rates of pulse restoration with the use of these devices.

As CPR quality initiatives continue to grow, the practice of using real-time measurement and feedback during the resuscitation, combined with regular debriefing sessions using the data captured during patient events, has shown promising early results. Research has shown that debriefing with data obtained from measurement and feedback tools can increase subsequent CPR performance and improve outcomes from in-hospital SCA.

Strengthening the links within the cardiac chain of survival has the potential to significantly improve outcomes of cardiac arrest victims. SCA survival statistics demonstrate how detrimental a weakness can be in any one of the critical links involved in this sequence.

Benjamin S. Abella, MD, MPhil and Emily C. Esposito, BA "Strengthening the Chain of Survival Incorporating real-time quality measures improves cardiac arrest outcomes" Posted: 09/30/2009 Full Article Available Online:

*Q-CPR is a registered trademark of Laerdal Medical

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