Extracorporeal life support appears to have a benefit in terms of survival over conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in patients who suffer an inhospital witnessed cardiac arrest. In a 3-year prospective observational study based in Taiwan, outcomes for patients with cardiac arrest of cardiac origin who underwent CPR for longer than 10 minutes were analysed: one group received conventional CPR, and the other underwent CPR and extracorporeal life support via a circuit including a centrifugal pump and oxygenator. There was a significant difference in survival between the two groups, with those patients undergoing extracorporeal CPR having a better survival rate to discharge and a superior 1-year survival compared with those who received conventional CPR. The authors comment that although the observed difference may be in part due to selection bias, they attempted to minimise this possibility through their statistical analysis.
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