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The emergency cardiac arrest response team (eCART): A novel strategy for improving therapeutic hypothermia utilization following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

      Abstract

      Background

      Out-of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is associated with significant mortality. Therapeutic hypothermia is one of the few interventions that have been shown to increase post-arrest survival as well as enhance neurologic recovery. Despite clinical guidelines recommending the use of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) following cardiac arrest, utilization rates by physicians remain low. We hypothesized that the development of a multi-disciplinary emergency cardiac arrest response team (eCART) would enhance therapeutic hypothermia utilization in the emergency department for OHCA.

      Methods and results

      An eCART (emergency department cardiac arrest response team) was created at a single site academic urban emergency department. The eCART team consisted of a physician hypothermia consultant, a cardiologist, a clinical pharmacist, a respiratory therapist and a chaplain. These providers were notified by page prior to the arrival of an OHCA patient and responded to the ED in person or by phone to support the resuscitation. Analysis of pre- and post-intervention data demonstrated a significant increase in the rate of TH utilization (64% to 96%). There was a non-significant decrease in the time to target temperature.

      Conclusions

      The creation of a coordinated, multi-disciplinary care team, providing real-time support for OHCA patients increased TH utilization in an emergency department.

      Keywords

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