Canadian Cardiovascular Society/Canadian Cardiovascular Critical Care Society/Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology Clinical Practice Update on Optimal Post Cardiac Arrest and Refractory Cardiac Arrest Patient Care Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Survival to hospital discharge among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is low and important regional differences in treatment practices and survival have been described. Since the 2017 publication of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society's position statement on OHCA care, multiple randomized controlled trials have helped to better define optimal post cardiac arrest care. This working group provides updated guidance on the timing of cardiac catheterization in patients with ST-elevation and without ST-segment elevation, on a revised temperature control strategy targeting normothermia instead of hypothermia, blood pressure, oxygenation, and ventilation parameters, and on the treatment of rhythmic and periodic electroencephalography patterns in patients with a resuscitated OHCA. In addition, prehospital trials have helped craft new expert opinions on antiarrhythmic strategies (amiodarone or lidocaine) and outline the potential role for double sequential defibrillation in patients with refractory cardiac arrest when equipment and training is available. Finally, we advocate for regionalized OHCA care systems with admissions to a hospital capable of integrating their post OHCA care with comprehensive on-site cardiovascular services and provide guidance on the potential role of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation in patients with refractory cardiac arrest. We believe that knowledge translation through national harmonization and adoption of contemporary best practices has the potential to improve survival and functional outcomes in the OHCA population.


  • van Diepen, Sean
  • Le May, Michel R
  • Alfaro, Patricia
  • Goldfarb, Michael J
  • Luk, Adriana
  • Mathew, Rebecca
  • Peretz-Larochelle, Maude
  • Rayner-Hartley, Erin
  • Russo, Juan J
  • Senaratne, Janek M
  • Ainsworth, Craig
  • Belley-Cote, Emilie
  • Fordyce, Christopher B
  • Kromm, Julie
  • Overgaard, Christopher B
  • Schnell, Gregory
  • Wong, Graham C

publication date

  • April 2024