Clinical question: What are the predictors of delay in the time to defibrillation after in-hospital cardiac arrest?
Background: Thirty percent of in-hospital cardiac arrests from ventricular arrhythmias are not treated within the American Heart Association’s recommendation of two minutes. This delay is associated with a 50% lower rate of in-hospital survival. Exploring the hospital-level variation in delays to defibrillation is a critical step toward sharing the best practices.
Study design: Retrospective review of registry data.
Setting: The National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (NRCPR) survey of 200 acute-care, nonpediatric hospitals.
Synopsis: The registry identified 7,479 patients who experienced cardiac arrest from ventricular tachycardia or pulseless ventricular fibrillation. The primary outcome was the hospital rate of delayed defibrillation (time to defibrillation > two minutes), which ranged from 2% to 51%.
Time to defibrillation was found to be a major predictor of survival after a cardiac arrest. Only bed volume and arrest location were associated with differences in rates of delayed defibrillation (lower rates in larger hospitals and in ICUs). The variability was not due to differences in patient characteristics, but was due to hospital-level effects. Academic status, geographical location, arrest volume, and daily admission volume did not affect the time to defibrillation.
The study was able to identify only a few facility characteristics that account for the variability between hospitals in the rate of delayed defibrillation. The study emphasizes the need for new approaches to identifying hospital innovations in process-of-care measures that are associated with improved performance in defibrillation times.
Bottom Line: Future research is needed to better understand the reason for the wide variation between hospitals in the rate of delayed defibrillation after in-hospital cardiac arrest.
Citation: Chan PS, Nichol G, Krumholz HM, Spertus JA, Nallamothu BK; American Heart Association National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (NRCPR) Investigators. Hospital variation in time to defibrillation after in-hospital cardiac arrest. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(14):1265-1273.
Clinical question: In patients with high-baseline incidence of gastric cancer, does H. pylori eradication reduce the risk for developing gastric cancer?
Background: Gastric cancer remains a major health problem in Asia. The link of H. pylori and gastric cancer has been established, but it remains unclear whether treatment for H. pylori is effective primary prevention for the development of gastric cancer.
Study design: Meta-analysis of six studies.
Setting: All but one trial was performed in Asia.
Synopsis: Seven studies met inclusion criteria, one of which was excluded due to heterogeneity. The six remaining studies were pooled, with 37 of 3,388 (1.1%) treated patients developing a new gastric cancer, compared with 56 of 3,307 (1.7%) patients who received placebo or were in the control group (RR 0.65; 0.43-0.98). Most patients received gastric biopsy prior to enrollment, and most of those demonstrated gastric atrophy or intestinal metaplasia.
These patients, despite more advanced precancerous pathology findings, still benefited from eradication. The seventh study, which was excluded, enrolled patients with early gastric cancer; these patients still benefited from H. pylori eradication and, when included in the meta-analysis, the RR was even lower, 0.57 (0.49-0.81).
Only two trials were double-blinded, but all of the studies employed the same definition of gastric cancer and held to excellent data reporting standards. This study encourages screening and treatment in high-risk patients given the widespread incidence of H. pylori.