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1.  Early versus Later Rhythm Analysis in Patients with Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(9):787-797.
BACKGROUND
In a departure from the previous strategy of immediate defibrillation, the 2005 resuscitation guidelines from the American Heart Association–International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation suggested that emergency medical service (EMS) personnel could provide 2 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before the first analysis of cardiac rhythm. We compared the strategy of a brief period of CPR with early analysis of rhythm with the strategy of a longer period of CPR with delayed analysis of rhythm.
METHODS
We conducted a cluster-randomized trial involving adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at 10 Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium sites in the United States and Canada. Patients in the early-analysis group were assigned to receive 30 to 60 seconds of EMS-administered CPR and those in the later-analysis group were assigned to receive 180 seconds of CPR, before the initial electrocardiographic analysis. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge with satisfactory functional status (a modified Rankin scale score of ≤3, on a scale of 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability).
RESULTS
We included 9933 patients, of whom 5290 were assigned to early analysis of cardiac rhythm and 4643 to later analysis. A total of 273 patients (5.9%) in the later-analysis group and 310 patients (5.9%) in the early-analysis group met the criteria for the primary outcome, with a cluster-adjusted difference of −0.2 percentage points (95% confidence interval, −1.1 to 0.7; P = 0.59). Analyses of the data with adjustment for confounding factors, as well as subgroup analyses, also showed no survival benefit for either study group.
CONCLUSIONS
Among patients who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, we found no difference in the outcomes with a brief period, as compared with a longer period, of EMS-administered CPR before the first analysis of cardiac rhythm. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ROC PRIMED ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00394706.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1010076
PMCID: PMC3181067  PMID: 21879896
2.  A Trial of an Impedance Threshold Device in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(9):798-806.
BACKGROUND
The impedance threshold device (ITD) is designed to enhance venous return and cardiac output during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by increasing the degree of negative intrathoracic pressure. Previous studies have suggested that the use of an ITD during CPR may improve survival rates after cardiac arrest.
METHODS
We compared the use of an active ITD with that of a sham ITD in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who underwent standard CPR at 10 sites in the United States and Canada. Patients, investigators, study coordinators, and all care providers were unaware of the treatment assignments. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge with satisfactory function (i.e., a score of ≤3 on the modified Rankin scale, which ranges from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability).
RESULTS
Of 8718 patients included in the analysis, 4345 were randomly assigned to treatment with a sham ITD and 4373 to treatment with an active device. A total of 260 patients (6.0%) in the sham-ITD group and 254 patients (5.8%) in the active-ITD group met the primary outcome (risk difference adjusted for sequential monitoring, −0.1 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, −1.1 to 0.8; P = 0.71). There were also no significant differences in the secondary outcomes, including rates of return of spontaneous circulation on arrival at the emergency department, survival to hospital admission, and survival to hospital discharge.
CONCLUSIONS
Use of the ITD did not significantly improve survival with satisfactory function among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receiving standard CPR. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ROC PRIMED ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00394706.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1010821
PMCID: PMC3204381  PMID: 21879897
3.  Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias after Cardiac Arrest in Public versus at Home 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(4):313-321.
BACKGROUND
The incidence of ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia as the first recorded rhythm after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has unexpectedly declined. The success of bystander-deployed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public settings suggests that this may be the more common initial rhythm when out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occurs in public. We conducted a study to determine whether the location of the arrest, the type of arrhythmia, and the probability of survival are associated.
METHODS
Between 2005 and 2007, we conducted a prospective cohort study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in adults in 10 North American communities. We assessed the frequencies of ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia and of survival to hospital discharge for arrests at home as compared with arrests in public.
RESULTS
Of 12,930 evaluated out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 2042 occurred in public and 9564 at home. For cardiac arrests at home, the incidence of ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia was 25% when the arrest was witnessed by emergency-medical-services (EMS) personnel, 35% when it was witnessed by a by-stander, and 36% when a bystander applied an AED. For cardiac arrests in public, the corresponding rates were 38%, 60%, and 79%. The adjusted odds ratio for initial ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia in public versus at home was 2.28 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.96 to 2.66; P<0.001) for bystander-witnessed arrests and 4.48 (95% CI, 2.23 to 8.97; P<0.001) for arrests in which bystanders applied AEDs. The rate of survival to hospital discharge was 34% for arrests in public settings with AEDs applied by bystanders versus 12% for arrests at home (adjusted odds ratio, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.03 to 5.99; P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS
Regardless of whether out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are witnessed by EMS personnel or bystanders and whether AEDs are applied by bystanders, the proportion of arrests with initial ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia is much greater in public settings than at home. The incremental value of resuscitation strategies, such as the ready availability of an AED, may be related to the place where the arrest occurs. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1010663
PMCID: PMC3062845  PMID: 21268723

Results 1-3 (3)