Aim of the review: To review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment and prognostication in relation to the post-cardiac arrest syndrome.
Methods: Relevant articles were identified using PubMed, EMBASE and an American Heart Association EndNote master resuscitation reference library, supplemented by hand searches of key papers. Writing groups comprising international experts were assigned to each section. Drafts of the document were circulated to all authors for comment and amendment.
Results: The 4 key components of post-cardiac arrest syndrome were identified as (1) post-cardiac arrest brain injury, (2) post-cardiac arrest myocardial dysfunction, (3) systemic ischaemia/reperfusion response, and (4) persistent precipitating pathology.
Conclusions: A growing body of knowledge suggests that the individual components of the post-cardiac arrest syndrome are potentially treatable.