Prognosis for Cardiac Arrest Survivors

Survival after a cardiac arrest is dependent on many factors.

Factors before cardiac arrest:

  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Poor health including diabetes, cancer, infection, kidney disease and stroke

Factors during cardiac arrest:

  • Time between collapse and start of CPR/defibrillation
  • Quality of CPR/defibrillation
  • Whether survivor had neurological function during or immediately after CPR

Factors after cardiac arrest and resuscitation:

  • Neurological function: Generally, poor function equals poor prognosis. But it could be complicated by medical instability and treatments. Some patients suffer a stroke after a cardiac arrest.
  • Neurophysiologic function: Tests include somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) and electroencephalogram (EEG).
  • Neuroimaging and monitoring: Cranial CT, MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and positron emission tomography (PET) determine structural brain injury, mostly to exclude hemorrhage or stroke.
  • Biochemistry: from blood or cerebrospinal fluid
  • Therapeutic hypothermia: Intentionally lowering the patient's body temperature.

Support That Empowers

Recovery from a heart condition becomes so much more manageable when you have the right kind of emotional support. We’re an online community of patients, survivors and caregivers who know what you’re going through and can help you find your footing on the path to better health.
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