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Open Access Does ‘heads-up’ cardiopulmonary resuscitation improve outcomes for patients in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest? A systematic review

Introduction: Survival rates for patients in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have remained around 10% in the United Kingdom for the past seven years. If outcomes are to be improved, research into new methods of advanced life support is required. One such method may be ‘heads-up’ cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Methods: A systematic review of literature exploring heads-up cardiopulmonary resuscitation was conducted in an attempt to identify its effects on survival to discharge and neurological outcome.

Results: A comprehensive search of CINAHL, MEDLINE and Google Scholar was undertaken. Six papers were classed as sufficiently relevant for inclusion. Included studies were generally of low quality and none studied the effect of heads-up cardiopulmonary resuscitation on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients. Animal studies identified a significant reduction in intracranial pressure and increase in cerebral and coronary perfusion pressure for use of augmented heads-up cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the porcine model of cardiac arrest.

Conclusion: Further research is required to analyse the effects and potential benefits of augmented heads-up cardiopulmonary resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Keywords: cardiopulmonary resuscitation; heads-up positioning; out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of London

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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