[Advanced prehospital treatment of heart arrest by the mobile emergency unit in Aarhus. 1-year survival after out-of-hospital heart arrest--with focus on response time, survival, the given treatment and admission]
INTRODUCTION: The Mobile Emergency Care Unit (MECU) in Arhus includes an experienced anaesthesiologist and a specially trained rescuer. It covers a radius of 25 km from the centre of Arhus with 330,000 inhabitants. Rescue workers in Denmark are permitted to give basic life support and defibrillation. The MECU carriers out advanced cardiac life support in accordance with "The 1998 Guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council". MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data collected by the MECU doctor on a standardised chart and survival data received from the Central Hospital Database were analysed retrospectively. RESULTS: In 1998, 4725 emergency calls were received. Twenty-five per cent of the calls were for trauma, 515 patients had cardiac disease, 158 of whom had cardiac arrest. In 86 patients, death was determined on the spot and no treatment was given. Seventy-two patients received advanced cardiac life support. Twenty-five patients were admitted to hospital. Thirteen patients were alive one year later, which gives a survival rate of 52% of the patients admitted to hospital. Of the 25 patients who were resuscitated and admitted to hospital, 21 received defibrillation, 16 were intubated, 19 had adrenaline, 11 lidocaine, and 9 amidarone. Other drugs used were atropine, NaHCO3, sotalol, and CaCl. DISCUSSION: These results illustrate that for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest early treatment with advanced cardiac life support performed by experienced doctors probably had a positive impact on survival, as compared to basic cardiac life support.