Surviving cardiac arrest

Michael F O'Rourke
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04781.x
Published online: 16 September 2002

The logic is simple, but the implementation difficult and the costs potentially astronomical. Simple, because the cause is usually ventricular fibrillation (VF), which, if corrected within one minute, leads to survival in well over 90% of patients.1 Implementation is difficult because of the 10% fall in survival for every minute that passes from onset of VF until a defibrillator can be used.1 Astronomical cost is anticipated if all people at high risk of VF were to be offered an implantable defibrillator,2 or if the conventional ambulance service were geared up to provide a response time of less than five minutes in metropolitan areas.

  • St Vincent's Clinic, Sydney, NSW.


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