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Time to change the times? Time of recurrence of ventricular fibrillation during OHCA.

Resuscitation 2020 December
AIM OF THE STUDY: For out-of-hospital-cardiac-arrest (OHCA) due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) guidelines recommend early defibrillation followed by chest compressions for two minutes before analyzing shock success. If rhythm analysis reveals VF again, it is obscure whether VF persisted or reoccurred within the two-minutes-cycle of chest compressions after successful defibrillation. We investigated the time of VF-recurrence in OHCA.

METHODS: We examined all cases of OHCA presenting with initial VF rhythm at arrival of ALS-ambulance (Marburg-Biedenkopf-County, 246.648 inhabitants) from January 2014 to March 2018. Three independent investigators analyzed corpuls3® ECG-recordings. We included ECG-data from CPR-beginning until four minutes after the third shock. VF termination was defined as the absence of a VF-waveform within 5 s of shock delivery. VF recurrence was defined as the presence of a VF-waveform in the interval 5 s post shock delivery.

RESULTS: We included 185 shocks in 82 patients. 74.1% (n = 137) of all shocks terminated VF, but VF recurred in 81% (n = 111). The median (IQR) time of VF-recurrences was 27 s (13.5 s/80.5 s) after shock. 51.4% (n = 57) of VF-recurrence occurred 5-30 s after shock, 13.5% (n = 15) VF-recurrence occurred 31-60 s after shock, 21.6% (n = 24) of VF-recurrence occurred 61-120 s after shock, 13.5% (n = 15) of VF-recurrence occurred 121-240 s after shock.

CONCLUSIONS: Although VF was terminated by defibrillation in 74.1%, VF recurred in 81% subsequent to the chest compression interval. Thus, VF reappears frequently and early. It is unclear to which extend chest compressions influence VF-relapse. Further studies need to re-evaluate the algorithm, timing of antiarrhythmic therapy or novel defibrillation strategies to minimize refibrillation during shockable OHCA.

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