Better therapy for patients with cardiac arrest

Better therapy for patients with cardiac arrest

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New center for treating patients with cardiac arrest opened
A special center for the treatment of patients with cardiac arrest has been set up at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), which is to further improve the chances of survival for those affected in the future. According to expert estimates, "out of 75,000 patients who have to be resuscitated annually in Germany after a circulatory failure, only 5,000 would survive," reports the UKE.

The interdisciplinary care of resuscitated patients is to be further expanded in the University Cardiac Arrest Center Hamburg (UCACH) in the future. "The aim is to increase the number of patients who can be discharged from the UKE after a cardiac arrest and resuscitation with a good treatment result," the clinic said. The nationwide establishment of such centers was stimulated by resuscitation experts with the aim of "increasing the quality of care and treatment in the clinics to such an extent that an additional 10,000 lives can be saved in Germany each year."

Better treatment results possible
Basically, the care of patients with sudden cardiac arrest represents a major medical and organizational challenge, in which the best possible result can only be achieved through an “optimal integration of all disciplines involved across the entire treatment,” emphasizes Professor Dr. Stefan Kluge, director of the intensive care medicine clinic at UKE. For example, resuscitated patients would be three times more likely to leave the clinic with good neurological results (without permanent severe brain damage) if the facility offered cardiac catheter treatment. Because the circulatory shock is often due to a heart attack.

Interdisciplinary care required
"The quality of care and the treatment outcome of resuscitated patients are also decisively determined by the care structure, size and experience of the treating hospital," Professor Kluge continues. In the UKE, the affected patients would initially usually be treated in the internal emergency room of the central emergency room (ZNA) and, after a cardiac catheter examination that might be necessary, transferred to the intensive care unit for further therapy. In seriously ill patients with acute cardiac or circulatory failure, procedures for mechanical extracorporeal cardiovascular support ("artificial heart") are often used. The "Clinic for Intensive Care Medicine, the Clinic for General and Interventional Cardiology, the Clinic for Anaesthesiology, the Clinic for Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, the Clinic for Cardiology with a Focus on Electrophysiology and the Clinic for Neurology" are involved in the interdisciplinary treatment established UCACH, this multi-professional network is to be organized and developed even better in the future in order to guarantee optimal care at all times, according to the UKE. (fp)

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