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Top Things to Know:
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivorship

  1. With improved systems of care that more fully involve community and healthcare professionals, the number of people surviving cardiac arrest is increasing.
  2. However, survivors often face physical, neurological, cognitive, emotional, and social issues that can linger well after the acute post-cardiac arrest period.
  3. There is a lack of systematic, uniform recommendations for the diverse post-cardiac arrest concerns a survivor may encounter; this often results in fragmented hospital discharge planning.
  4. The purpose of this statement is to summarize the available science that describes the experience of patients and their families and caregivers after cardiac arrest and to organize a template survivorship plan that can facilitate communication across hospital systems and specialties.
  5. There are significant opportunities to optimize the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of survivorship to further improve outcomes.
  6. Before hospital discharge, every cardiac arrest survivor should receive an individualized survivorship care plan that includes guidelines for monitoring and maintaining their health.
  7. Cardiac-arrest-specific scales, core outcome sets, and tools are necessary for improvements in the interventions provided to survivors. The various cognitive, physical, and neurological impairments that may occur after cardiac arrest should be considered when developing patient-centered post-cardiac arrest care.
  8. The impact of the cardiac arrest and subsequent interventions on initial responders (both lay and healthcare), EMS, in-hospital providers, and caregivers should also be acknowledged, and strategies should be implemented to address concerns.
  9. Promoting attention to quality of life and survivorship acknowledges the complex emotional, physical, social, and economic challenges associated with life during and after cardiac arrest. It also recognizes the importance of caregivers and support networks, who may also need guidance throughout the long recovery period.
  10. Clinicians need to be prepared to develop a comprehensive plan for survivors that accounts for the diverse physical, emotional, cognitive, and economic challenges faced by survivors, their caregivers and family, and responding providers.

View the full Science News coverage for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivorship

Citation

Sawyer KN, Camp-Rogers TR, Kotini-Shah P, Del Rios M, Gossip MR, Moitra VK, Haywood KL, Dougherty CM, Lubitz SA, Rabinstein AA, Rittenberger JC, Callaway CW, Abella BS, Geocadin RG, Kurz MC; on behalf of the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine; Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research; and Stroke Council. Sudden cardiac arrest survivorship: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print February 12, 2020]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000747.