Implementing the 2005 American Heart Association Guidelines improves outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Heart Rhythm. 2010 Oct;7(10):1357-62. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.04.022. Epub 2010 Apr 24.


Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine whether applying highly recommended changes in the 2005 American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines would improve outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Background: In 2005, AHA recommended multiple ways to improve circulation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Methods: Conglomerate quality assurance data were analyzed during prospective implementation of the 2005 AHA Guidelines in five emergency medical services (EMS) systems. All EMS personnel were trained in the key new aspects of the 2005 AHA Guidelines, including use of an impedance threshold device. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes were return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival by initial cardiac arrest rhythm, and the cerebral performance category (CPC) score at hospital discharge.

Results: There were 1,605 patients in the intervention group and 1,641 patients in the control group. Demographics, the rate of bystander CPR, and time from the 911 call for help to arrival of EMS personnel were similar between groups. Survival to hospital discharge was 10.1% in the control group versus 13.1% in the intervention group (P = .007). For patients with a presenting rhythm of ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia, survival to discharge was 20% in controls versus 32.3% in the intervention group (P <.001). Survival to discharge with a CPC classification of 1 or 2 was 33.3% (10/30) in the control versus 59.6% (31/52) in the intervention group (P = .038).

Conclusions: Compared with controls, patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treated with a renewed emphasis on improved circulation during CPR had significantly higher neurologically intact hospital discharge rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • American Heart Association
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / standards
  • Emergency Medical Services* / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services* / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / mortality
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy