Why the significant improvement in survival rates?

The improved survival rates are highly likely as a result of hospital treatment changes and the way in which bystanders respond after someone has collapsed. According to the study that appeared first in Journal Circulation, the death rate of U S residents that were hospitalized after suffering a cardiac arrest was just below 58 percent which was considerably low compared to the nearly 70 percent recorded in 2001.

The lead researcher, Alejandro Rabinstein of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, the team of researchers based their study findings on a discharge data of a national hospital which included about 1.2 million people who had been admitted for cardiac arrest. The researchers strongly stressed on the fact that the numbers reported only accounted for the victims of cardiac arrest who survived long enough for them to get admittance to a hospital. In most cases, many patients tend to die before they reach the hospital.

The research doesn’t really give any information regarding mortality rates of all resuscitation attempts after a cardiac arrest. Nevertheless, this study sent a very clear message in that in case you suffer a cardiac arrest case and you are lucky to get hospitalized; you have high chances of surviving as chances of patients surviving hospitalization are now much better.  A cardiac arrest usually results from a problem with the electrical activity of the heart which stops the normal beating of the heart. This makes the heart unable to undertake its main function of pumping blood to the rest parts of the body. This is extremely fatal within few minutes and the patient can only survive of a defibrillator shock is used to restore a normal rhythm.

Advancements in cardiac arrest treatments

But since 2001, there have been some few advances made in treatment of cardiac arrest and chances of survival are now much better. One of these advancements is one which recommend bystanders to undertake the ‘hands- only’ CPR meaning that no mouth to mouth resuscitation breathing but only chest compressions. This is believed to be very easy to be performed by laypeople and now, many people are comfortable performing CPR on strangers.

In addition, the public is now able to accesses the so called external automated defibrillators more than before. This portable version are more friendly to the lay person and work exactly the same way like the equipment used by doctors for shocking an arrested heart. Some things have also changed considerably at hospitals. Nowadays, most doctors are performing angioplasty on some patients once they arrive at the hospital which the researchers think that it has really helped. A new form of treatment known as ‘therapeutic hypothermia’ is now being given to patients that remain comatose after a cardiac arrest which has further boosted the survival rates.