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Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation in refractory cardiac arrest (ECPR) is an emerging resuscitative therapy that has shown promising results for selected patients who may not otherwise survive. We sought to identify the characteristics of cardiac arrest patients presenting to our institution to begin assessing the feasibility of an ECPR program.
This retrospective health records review included patients aged 18–75 years old presenting to our academic teaching hospital campuses with refractory nontraumatic out-of-hospital or in-emergency department (ED) cardiac arrest over a 2-year period. Based on a scoping review of the literature, both “liberal” and “restrictive” ECPR criteria were defined and applied to our cohort.
A total of 179 patients met inclusion criteria. Median age was 60 years, and patients were predominantly male (72.6%). The initial rhythm was ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation in 49.2%. The majority of arrests were witnessed (69.3%), with immediate bystander CPR performed on 53.1% and an additional 12% receiving CPR within 10 minutes of collapse. Median prehospital time was 40 minutes (interquartile range, 31–53.3). Two-thirds of patients (65.9%) were identified as having a reversible cause of arrest and favorable premorbid status was identified in nearly three quarters (74.3%). Our two sets of ECPR inclusion criteria revealed that 33 and 5 patients (liberal and restrictive criteria, respectively), would have been candidates for ECPR.
At our institution, we estimate between 6% and 40% of ED refractory cardiac arrest patients would be candidates for ECPR. These findings suggest that the implementation of an ECPR program should be explored.
We sought to identify emergency department interventions that lead to improvement in door-to-electrocardiogram (ECG) times for adults presenting with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome.
Two reviewers searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane CENTRAL from inception to April 2018 for studies in adult emergency departments with an identifiable intervention to reduce median door-to-ECG times when compared with the institution's baseline. Quality was assessed using the Quality Improvement Minimum Quality Criteria Set critical appraisal tool. The primary outcome was the absolute median reduction in door-to-ECG times as calculated by the difference between the post-intervention time and pre-intervention time.
Two reviewers identified 809 unique articles, yielding 11 before-after quality improvement studies that met eligibility criteria (N = 15,622 patients). The majority of studies (10/11) reported bundled interventions, and most (10/11) showed statistical improvement in door-to-ECG times. The most common interventions were having a dedicated ECG machine and technician in triage (5/11); improved triage education (4/11); improved triage disposition (2/11); and data feedback mechanisms (2/11).
There are multiple interventions that show potential for reducing emergency department door-to-ECG times. Effective bundled interventions include having a dedicated ECG technician, triage education, and better triage disposition. These changes can help institutions attain best practice guidelines. Emergency departments must first understand their local context before adopting any single or group of interventions.
We conducted an environmental scan of quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) infrastructure and activities in academic emergency medicine (EM) programs and departments across Canada.
We developed 2 electronic surveys through expert panel consensus to assess important themes identified by the CAEP QIPS Committee. “Survey 1” was sent by email to all 17 Canadian medical school affiliated EM department Chairs and Academic Hospitals department Chiefs; “Survey 2” to 12 identified QIPS leads in these hospitals. This was followed by 2 monthly email reminders to participate in the survey.
22/70 (31.4%) Department Chairs/Chiefs completed Survey 1. Most (81.8%) reported formal positions dedicated to QIPS activities within their groups, with a mixed funding model. Less than half of these positions have dedicated logistical support. 11/12 (91.7%) local QIPS leads completed Survey 2. Two-thirds (63.6%) reported explicit QIPS topics within residency curricula, but only 9.1% described QIPS training for staff physicians. Many described successful academic scholarship output, with the total number of peer-reviewed QIPS-related publications per centre ranging from 1–10 over the past 5 years. Few respondents reported access to academic supports: methodologists (27.3%), administrative personnel (27.3%), and statisticians (9.1%).
This environmental scan provides a snapshot of QIPS activities in EM across academic centres in Canada. We found significant local educational and academic efforts, although there is a discrepancy between the level of formal support/infrastructure and such activities. There remains opportunity to further advance QIPS efforts on a national level, as well as advocating and supporting local QIPS activities.
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