New CPR Guidelines Address Recovery Needs of Cardiac Arrest Survivors

The American Heart Association is adding a new link to the CPR “Chain of Survival” that addresses cardiac arrest survivors’ ongoing needs. The new recovery link in the Chain of Survival highlights the need for treatment, surveillance, and rehabilitation of cardiac arrest survivors and their caregivers.

Recommendations important to this concept include structured assessment for anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, and fatigue for both groups; rehabilitation assessment and treatment for physical, neurologic, cardiopulmonary, and cognitive impairments before discharge from the hospital; and comprehensive multidisciplinary discharge planning, including medical and rehabilitative treatment recommendations and return to activity/work expectations.

The recovery period after cardiac arrest is now considered a key element of survival, according to updated guidelines for emergency CPR and heart care that also tackle health disparities and opioid overdoses.