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Friday
Jul012011

Report: Cardiac Arrest Strikes More than 200,000 Each Year

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine caution that the rate of people treated for cardiac arrest each year in U.S. hospitals may be on the rise.  They report that, already, hospitals may treat more than 200,000 for cardiac arrest -- a condition in which the heart stops cutting off blood and oxygen flow to the brain and organs.

Of those who suffer cardiac arrest while at the hospital, the researchers report that 21 percent survive.  They say only 10 percent survive cardiac arrest when in other settings.
 
What the study proves, said the study's lead author, Dr. Raina M. Merchant is that cardiac arrest "represents a tremendous problem for hospitals in the United States."

Merchant adds that knowing the numbers of patients suffering these events can "provide a roadmap for improving allocation of resources to care for these critically ill patients … ."

Merchant and colleagues say that more can be done to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.  For example, hospitals can prevent the condition by more attentive patient monitoring, beginning CPR and defibrillation efforts more quickly and acting in close accordance with resuscitation guidelines.

The study's findings were published online in Critical Care Medicine.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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