Finally, in another EMS CPR story, new evidence suggests that we might need to start elevating the head in cardiac arrest patients while we are doing CPR. This “Heads-Up-CPR” is the latest in some new research into improving cardiac arrest outcomes. Studies from the lab and some upcoming studies in the filed are all looking at this new research.

French Study Shows Head Elevated CPR Better

Cardiac Arrest CPRThe change is based on a French study of cardiac arrest and mechanical compressions in pigs in various positions including flat, head tilted up degrees and head tilted down 30 degrees. The heads-up position resulted in a better coronary perfusion pressure. This is the blood flow to the heart itself which happens on the diastolic side of the blood pressure or back-flow just outside the aortic valve.

Several systems in Florida have taken the findings and are studying the effects in their systems. One of the things that you have to have if you’re going to do CPR on a patient with their head elevated 30 degrees is a mechanical CPR device like the LUCAS from Physio-Control. Just for disclosure purposes, Physio-Control is a sponsor of this program.

But in order for an organization to even start thinking about instituting a trial of this “heads-up-CPR” concept they first have to have a mechanical CPR device in service and used regularly on their cardiac arrest calls. Because of that I don’t see this becoming standard practice anytime soon, even after the initial studies are completed to prove efficacy and positive patient outcomes in the field.

But, I want you to have a “heads-up” so to speak, of what’s on the horizon for cardiac arrest care so you aren’t surprised when something new comes along. Because you’re a member of the MedicCast audience, you’ll be able to say “Oh, yeah! I knew about that last year!” Stay tuned here to the MedicCast to keep up to date and I’ll keep bringing you the latest and greatest in new trends for emergency medical care.


Follow up on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Mobile Integrated Healthcare Update and Episode 440.



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