Table of Contents
Advances in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 6813718, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6813718
Research Article

Variation in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Management

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

Received 6 January 2016; Accepted 25 May 2016

Academic Editor: Georg M. Schmölzer

Copyright © 2016 Jason M. Jones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To evaluate variation in airway management strategies in one suburban emergency medical services system treating patients experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Method. Retrospective chart review of all adult OHCA resuscitation during a 13-month period, specifically comparing airway management decisions. Results. Paramedics demonstrated considerable variation in their approaches to airway management. Approximately half of all OHCA patients received more than one airway management attempt (38/77 [49%]), and one-quarter underwent three or more attempts (25/77 [25%]). One-third of patients arrived at the emergency department with a different airway device than initially selected (25/77 [32%]). Conclusion. This study confirmed our hypothesis that paramedics’ selection of ventilation strategies in cardiac arrest varies considerably. This observation raises concern because airway management diverts time and energy from interventions known to improve outcomes in OHCA management, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation. More research is needed to identify more focused airway management strategies for prehospital care providers.