Author Affiliations: Department of Emergency Medicine and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance; and Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.
Out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death is a major health problem. According to Becker et al,1 in summarizing the 2000 Pulse Conference, “We lose more than 1000 lives each day in the United States from sudden, unexpected death, a fatality rate comparable to the crash of two 747 aircraft without survivors.” To make matters worse, current interventions for the treatment of nontraumatic cardiopulmonary arrest, conforming to a “chain of survival” concept, have not significantly improved neurologically intact survival rates over a decade.2,3 The overall survival rate is less than 5% and the chance of normal neurological function is even lower.
Lewis RJ, Niemann JT. Manual vs Device-Assisted CPRReconciling Apparently Contradictory Results. JAMA. 2006;295(22):2661-2664. doi:10.1001/jama.295.22.2661