New tool can assess brain damage risk from cardiac arrest

According to data from a 2017 study by the European Registry of Cardiac Arrest, sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is the third leading cause of death in industrialised countries. (Rawpixel pic)

LONDON: Brain injury can be a major consequence for cardiac arrest patients. Doctors at King’s College Hospital in London have developed a new tool to help medical personnel evaluate symptoms and better anticipate risk.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a major public health problem and can cause major long-term morbidity. The risk of long-term brain damage for cardiac arrest patients is extremely high, but it can be difficult to predict early on after hospital admission.

In order to help specialised centres improve treatment for these patients, researchers at King’s College London and King’s College Hospital have created a barometer to evaluate the seriousness of symptoms.

Called MIRACLE2, the tool is aimed at aiding clinical decision-making, improving appropriate treatment selection, and better informing family members early on after hospitalization. Their work has been published in the European Heart Journal.

The study took into account data from 400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients treated at King’s College Hospital and identified the characteristics of the patients who suffered brain damage.

The team then created a predictive model to come up with a score that is easily applicable by clinicians during the admissions process at cardiac units.

Professor Ajay Shah, BHF Professor Cardiology at King’s College London and Director of the King’s BHF Centre of Research Excellence, said: “People who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community are among the most serious and complex emergency patients to manage, with a wide range of possible outcomes from complete recovery to possible long-term brain damage.

“The new risk score developed in our study should greatly aid ambulance teams and emergency heart doctors to make early decisions about the best treatment option for each patient,” said Ajay Shah, Professor of Cardiology at King’s College London.

According to data from a 2017 survey by the European registry of cardiac arrest, sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries. It also reported that more than 350,000 patients are victims of OHCA in Europe.