I am frequently involved in resuscitating patients following cardiac arrest
. When a patient's heart stops beating effectively and they collapse, there are a number of heart rhythms that may have caused this. If optimal resuscitation
is started immediately, then there is a possibility of survival. However, this depends on a number of factors. If the cause of collapse was ventricular fibrillation
, and CPR is started immediately which includes defibrillation
, then this is the situation with the best chances of a successful outcome. If the cause of the collapse was asystole
, where the heart completely stops completely and there is no electrical activity (asystole), then the likelihood of success is minimal despite skilled CPR. Defibrillation is not part of the treatment of asystole. Defibrillation is only indicated if the heart is in ventricular fibrillation (VF).
The success of any resuscitation also depends on the medical condition prior to the collapse including the age of the patient.
If you would like any further information, please contact me.
Dr K A Pottinger,