Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and management of cardiac arrest

Jerry P. Nolan, Jasmeet Soar, Volker Wenzel*, Peter Paal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The best chance of survival with a good neurological outcome after cardiac arrest is afforded by early recognition and high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), early defibrillation of ventricular fibrillation (VF), and subsequent care in a specialist center. Compression-only CPR should be used by responders who are unable or unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth ventilations. After the first defibrillator shock, further rhythm checks and defibrillation attempts should be performed after 2 min of CPR. The underlying cause of cardiac arrest can be identified and treated during CPR. Drugs have a limited effect on long-term outcomes after cardiac arrest, although epinephrine improves the success of resuscitation, and amiodarone increases the success of defibrillation for refractory VF. Supraglottic airway devices are an alternative to tracheal intubation, which should be attempted only by skilled rescuers. Care after cardiac arrest includes controlled reoxygenation, therapeutic hypothermia for comatose survivors, percutaneous coronary intervention, circulatory support, and control of blood-glucose levels and seizures. Prognostication in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest needs a careful, multimodal approach using clinical and electrophysiological assessments after at least 72 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-511
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Cardiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

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Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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