Study: CPR training, defibrillator training and outcomes improve

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Over the 10-year span between 1999 and 2008, CPR training and defibrillator use in Sweden improved, which has resulted in an improvement in outcomes for in-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the April issue of Resuscitation.

Solveig Aune, RN, of the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, and colleagues set out to evaluate the changes in organizational training for CPR and treatment and outcomes for cardiac arrest in Sweden.

Aune et al used three national surveys of the National Register (1999, 2003 and 2008) to record aspects of CPR training among healthcare professionals treating patients for in-hospital cardiac arrest in Swedish hospitals.

Between 1999 and 2008, the researchers reported that the number of hospitals with CPR coordination increased from 45 percent to 93 percent, and the majority of CPR coordinators are nurses.

Additionally, the researchers found that in 2008, 88 percent of hospitals had guidelines outlining appropriate and acceptable delays from cardiac arrest to the start of CPR and defibrillation. In 1999, 48 percent of hospitals had integrated these types of guidelines.

Lastly, Aune and colleagues found that while only 55 percent of hospitals in 1999 used local defibrillation outside of the intensive care unit (ICU); by 2008, this number had risen to 86 percent.

Survival to hospital discharge was reported to be 29 percent during the past four years in Sweden and 93 percent of these patients had a cerebral performance score of I or II, which indicated acceptable cerebral function, the researchers wrote.

“During the last ten years, there was a marked improvement in CPR training and treatment of IHCA (in-hospital cardiac arrest) in Sweden,” the researchers concluded. “During the past four years, survival after IHCA is high and the majority of survivors have acceptable cerebral function.”