Ten years of cardiac arrest resuscitation in Irish general practice



      The aim of this study is to establish the role and outcome of general practitioner (GP) involvement in out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) resuscitation in the Republic of Ireland.


      A ten year prospective observational study involving a cohort of Irish general practices.


      521 general practice settings distributed throughout the Republic of Ireland, representing approximately one quarter of all practices and a third of Irish GPs.


      534 patients suffering cardiac arrest in the community for whom resuscitation was attempted.


      Cardiac arrest with resuscitation attempted (CARA) in which a GP played a role.


      Over a ten year period almost half of participating practices reported one or more CARAs. A total of 534 CARAs were reported at a variety of locations; 161 (30%) had ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) at some point, with outcome data available for 147/161; 90 patients survived to hospital discharge. Most survivors for whom follow up data are available were discharged home and were completely independent. The highest rate of survival was achieved when CARAs occurred at a GP practice premises (47.4%).


      Resuscitation following OHCA is a key task in general practice. Over time a significant number of GPs encounter OHCA, attempt resuscitation and achieve higher survival to hospital discharge rates than occur nationally among OHCAs in Ireland. We conclude that a defibrillator should be routinely available at all general practices and staff should have appropriate resuscitation skills.


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