Study supports AHA CPR rules

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Hospital discharge rates can double when the AHA’s new CPR guidelines are consistently and effectively applied, according to a study presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions in November. The study, which took place in seven cities across the country, tracked more than 2,000 patients from experiencing cardiac arrest outside of the hospital all the way through to hospital discharge.  

The Study:
The seven EMS departments participating in the study used AHA recommended new CPR including increased compressions, full chest wall recoil and use of the Impedance Threshold Device (ITD). The ResQPOD ITD is a $99 device that is the size of a small fist and manufactured by Advanced Circulatory Systems. The Impedance Threshold Device received a Class IIa rating by the AHA in its 2005 Emergency Cardiac Care Guidelines. This is the highest recommendation possible given to an intervention that improves hemodynamics and improves the rate of return of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest. The data presented included 893 individuals who experienced cardiac arrest compared with a control group of 1,424 patients. The average age of both study populations was 64 years and 65 percent of the study subjects were male.

The Results:
When subjects were treated with new CPR techniques including the use of an Impedance Threshold Device (ITD), the hospital discharge rates went from 7.9 percent to 15.7 percent, or double the survival rate of the control group and more than double the national survival rate of five percent.
These results strongly support the widespread use of the American Heart Association’s new 2005 CPR guidelines, according to the the study authors. Lead author, Tom P. Aufderheide, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine, and Director of the Resuscitation Research Center in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, presented the data at the AHA Scientific Session in Orlando.

Dr. Keith Lurie, Chief Medical Officer at Advanced Circulatory Systems, said, “There are technologies and practices that we know can move the needle to save more lives. This is especially true when we use these therapies together as recommended in the American Heart Association 2005 Guidelines. People should not have to rely on being in the right place at the right time when they experience cardiac arrest. While there remains a lot of work to further increase survival rates, the findings from this study, that survival to hospital discharge rates are doubled with this new approach, has great value for all patients who suffer from a cardiac arrest.”
The study did more than encourage the use of AHA guidelines, however. The study is considered important also because it demonstrated statistically that survival rates can improve when a combination of therapies is used together to improve emergency cardiac care. Aufderheide said, “This menu of interventions for patients with cardiac arrest has resulted in one of the highest overall survival rates ever documented for this devastating medical condition. It represents a major breakthrough in the treatment of cardiac arrest, which we hope will be disseminated in other systems throughout the United States.”
Further information on the AHA 2005 CPR Guidelines can be obtained at


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