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Neurologic management following cardiac arrest.

Abstract
Optimal neurologic outcome after cardiac arrest requires careful attention to the details of both intracranial and extracranial homeostasis. A high index of suspicion regarding the potential causes and complications of cardiac arrest facilitates discovery and treatment of problems before they adversely affect neurologic outcome. The future is bright for resuscitation research: Our fundamental understanding of cerebral ischemia and its consequences has dramatically improved, and this knowledge can hopefully be transferred to clinical useful modes of therapy. However, the transition from a promising, therapeutically effective intervention in animals to the demonstration that treatment is effective following cardiac arrest in humans is an important and difficult step. The patient population is heterogeneous before the insult, the duration and severity of the insult are variable, and the effectiveness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation varies among institutions. Therefore, the only means of demonstrating clinical efficacy is the performance of a large clinical trial. The Resuscitation Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh has developed and coordinated a multicenter, multinational team of investigators who have completed one definitive trial of postarrest barbiturate therapy and are currently completing a similar trial using a calcium entry blocker. Despite the formidable obstacles posed by such comprehensive efforts, they provide the mechanism for determining whether the cost of a new treatment modality is justified by the likelihood of improved mortality or morbidity.
AuthorsN G Bircher
JournalCritical care clinics (Crit Care Clin) Vol. 5 Issue 4 Pg. 773-84 (Oct 1989) ISSN: 0749-0704 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID2676098 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Topics
  • Brain Ischemia (prevention & control)
  • Critical Care
  • Heart Arrest (complications)
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Prognosis
  • Resuscitation (methods)

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