AWARE-AWAreness during Resuscitation – A prospective study.
The Article: AWARE-AWAreness during Resuscitation – A prospective study, Parnia S, Spearpoint K, et al, Resuscitation (2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.004
The Idea: Do patient’s really have “out of body” or “near death” experiences during resuscitation for cardiac arrest. How aware are they of their surroundings during these resuscitations? The Study: During a 4-year, 15-hospital study, patients who survived cardiac arrested and met several inclusion criteria were interviewed to assess their level of awareness and experiences during their resuscitation during a cardiac arrest. Of all patients with cardiac arrest at these institutions, 16% survived and slightly less than half of those remaining were eligible for the study. The Findings: 46% of eligible patients had memories that fell into several prevailing categories, 9% had “near death experiences” and 2% had explicit awareness of events during their resuscitation. Those 2% were v-fib arrests (with presumed defibrillation during resuscitation). The Takeaway The genesis for this study seemed to come from high rates of depression and PTSD for patients who survived cardiac arrest, and tried to assess this by determining if they had recollections of events during the resuscitation itself. While interesting from a “something we can discuss at a cocktail party” perspective, the findings do not provide much in the way of patient-focused outcomes or care suggestions. At the minimum, however, the study reminds us as ER providers that we should always act professional, even if our patients appear to be non-responsive during a code. The more serious issues surrounding patient depression and PTSD were not discussed in this paper unfortunately.