Out of hospital cardiac arrest : what do the numbers tell us?
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The benefits of sodium bicarbonate use in treating out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) have been debated and have fluctuated over time. Both prospective and retrospective studies have been done. With an aggregate of these studies there is little evidence that sodium bicarbonate is effective in preventing morbidity and mortality in patients experiencing OHCA. Overall OHCA treated by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has an incidence of 73 per 100,000 and an average survival to hospital discharge of 11.4% for adults. With the information available and more recent guidelines and evidence showing less support for the use in utilizing sodium bicarbonate in a prehospital cardiac arrest, it should be assessed if this evidence extends to the population seen at MU hospital to guide further appropriate care and policies. Additionally, trends in 30-day survival should be evaluated for significance and appropriate change in practice should be considered both for continued aggressive care and limiting nonbeneficial intervention during OHCA.
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