Improving vasopressor use in cardiac arrest

Link to article at PubMed

Crit Care. 2023 Mar 2;27(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04301-3.


The Chain of Survival highlights the effectiveness of early recognition of cardiac arrest and call for help, early cardiopulmonary resuscitation and early defibrillation. Most patients, however, remain in cardiac arrest despite these interventions. Drug treatments, particularly the use of vasopressors, have been included in resuscitation algorithms since their inception. This narrative review describes the current evidence base for vasopressors and reports that adrenaline (1 mg) is highly effective at achieving return of spontaneous circulation (number needed to treat 4) but is less effective on long-term outcomes (survival to 30 days, number needed to treat 111) with uncertain effects on survival with a favourable neurological outcome. Randomised trials evaluating vasopressin, either as an alternative to or in addition to adrenaline, and high-dose adrenaline have failed to find evidence of improved long-term outcomes. There is a need for future trials to evaluate the interaction between steroids and vasopressin. Evidence for other vasopressors (e.g. noradrenaline, phenylephedrine) is insufficient to support or refute their use. The use of intravenous calcium chloride as a routine intervention in out of hospital cardiac arrest is not associated with benefit and may cause harm. The optimal route for vascular access between peripheral intravenous versus intraosseous routes is currently the subject of two large randomised trials. Intracardiac, endobronchial, and intramuscular routes are not recommended. Central venous administration should be limited to patients where an existing central venous catheter is in situ and patent.

PMID:36864469 | DOI:10.1186/s13054-023-04301-3

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