What is it about?

This paper describes two cases of patients in cardiac arrest - where blood is no longer being pumped around the body - due to a blockage in the main artery supplying the heart muscle with blood (a heart attack). In both cases, a mechanical device was used to give CPR and cardiologists opened the artery using balloons and stents. Both patients made a full recovery. The paper considers the merits and limitations of this technique.

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Why is it important?

Survival from cardiac arrest is poor. While there is literature documenting the benefits of opening an artery with a balloon in cardiac arrest which happens during a cardiac procedure, and more showing the effect of this procedure in patients who have already been successfully resuscitated, the role of PCI, or coronary angioplasty (using balloons and stents) to treat cardiac arrest has not been well studied. We hope these examples will encourage further examination of this technique.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for Refractory Cardiac Arrest, Annals of Emergency Medicine, August 2014, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.10.016.
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