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Transporting cardiac arrest patients to the hospital too early could be a fatal mistake (Brian Grunau, St. Paul’s Hospital)

Transporting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients to the hospital during their arrest instead of completing resuscitation on the spot may hurt their chance of survival, according to new findings published in JAMA.

“Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel follow established guidelines for the treatment of OHCA,” wrote lead author Brian Grunau, MD, MHSc, St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, and colleagues. “If, and when, patients without return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) are transported to the hospital, however, varies considerably by agency and region. Previous data show wide variability in rates of intra-arrest transport, with some EMS agencies transporting nearly all patients regardless of ROSC, while for others this practice is uncommon if ROSC is not achieved.”

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