Managing the post-resuscitation patient in the field

David E. Persse, Brian S. Zachariah, Jane G. Wigginton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The principal goal after successful resuscitation of a cardiac arrest patient is to maintain the patient's pulse and avoid a pulseless state. Of equal importance in the post-resuscitation patient are efforts to prevent myocardial dysfunction and increase the likelihood of a good neurologic outcome. To optimize cardiac and hemodynamic resuscitation, paramedics should obtain good background information, which could provide clues to factors contributing to the cardiac arrest, such as the use of certain drugs or being overdue for dialysis, and could aid in customizing therapy for rhythm disturbances and hemodynamic aberrations. Treatment of rhythm disturbances depends on the type of arrhythmia identified, the history of present illness, and the resuscitation efforts provided. Common post-resuscitation dysrhythmias are wide-complex tachycardia, narrow-complex tachycardia, and bradycardia. Optimizing neurologic resuscitation is difficult, but evidence suggests that hypertensive reperfusion, hemodilution, and mild hypothermia may be of benefit in improving neurologic outcome after resuscitation. Unfortunately, to date, no proven therapies are available to improve neurologic outcome after resuscitation from cardiac arrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Neurologic outcome
  • Post-resuscitation syndrome
  • Resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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