Cases reported "Heart Arrest"

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1/16. Postpartum clostridium sordellii infection associated with fatal toxic shock syndrome.

    Clostridium bacteria are anaerobic Gram positive spore-form-ing bacilli, known to cause distinct clinical syndromes such as botulism, tetanus, pseudomembranous colitis and myonecrosis. The natural habitats of Clostridium species are soil, water and the gastrointestinal tract of animals and humans. In 5-10% of all women, Clostridium species are also found to be normal inhabitants in the microbial flora of the female genital tract. In case of a non-sexually transmitted genital tract infection, Clostridium species are isolated in 4-20%, and clostridium welchii seems to be the most common isolate. clostridium sordellii is rarely encountered in clinical specimens (1% of Clostridium species), but it has been described as a human pathogen with fatal potential. Two toxins, a lethal and a hemorrhagic (that antigenically and pathophysiologically appear similar to clostridium difficile toxins B and A, respectively) are responsible for this potential. Reviewing the obstetric literature, only six cases of postpartum endometritis caused by C. sordellii, are described - all being fatal. In addition, one lethal case of spontaneous endometritis resulting from C. sordellii is reported. The clinical aspects of these cases include: - sudden onset with influenza-like symptoms in previously healthy women - progressive refractory hypotension - local and spreading tissue edema - absence of fever Laboratory findings include: - marked leukocytosis - elevated hematocrit. This paper reports the seventh fatal postpartum C. sorlellii associated toxic shock syndrome - the first recognized in scandinavia.
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2/16. Beneficial effects of vasopressin in prolonged pediatric cardiac arrest: a case series.

    Children who suffer cardiac arrest have a poor prognosis. Based on laboratory animal studies and clinical data in adults, vasopressin is an exciting new vasopressor treatment modality during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In particular, vasopressin has resulted in short term resuscitation benefits as a "rescue" pressor agent in the setting of prolonged out-of-hospital CPR for ventricular fibrillation in adults. This retrospective series presents the first evidence for resuscitation benefit of bolus vasopressin therapy in the specific setting of pediatric cardiac arrest. All episodes of CPR initiated in a 120-bed tertiary care children's hospital over a three-year period (1997-2000) were reviewed. Four children in the pediatric ICU received vasopressin boluses as rescue therapy during six cardiac arrest events, following failure of conventional CPR, advanced life support, and epinephrine vasopressor therapy. Return of spontaneous circulation for greater than 60 min occurred in three of four patients (75%) and in four of six CPR events (66%) following vasopressin administration. Two of four vasopressin recipients survived >24 h; one survived to hospital discharge and one had withdrawal of supportive therapies following family discussion. Our observations are AHA level 5 (retrospective case series) evidence that vasopressin administration may be beneficial during prolonged pediatric cardiac arrest. Such reports should pave the way for prospective clinical trials comparing vasopressor medications in the setting of pediatric cardiac arrest.
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3/16. cardiopulmonary resuscitation after near drowning and hypothermia: restoration of spontaneous circulation after vasopressin.

    Recent animal data have challenged the common clinical practice to avoid vasopressor drugs during hypothermic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when core temperature is below 30 degrees C. In this report, we describe the case of a 19-year-old-female patient with prolonged, hypothermic, out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest after near drowning (core temperature, 27 degrees C) in whom cardiocirculatory arrest persisted despite 2 mg of intravenous epinephrine; but, immediate return of spontaneous circulation occurred after a single dose (40 IU) of intravenous vasopressin. The patient was subsequently admitted to a hospital with stable haemodynamics, and was successfully rewarmed with convective rewarming, but died of multiorgan failure 15 h later. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the use of vasopressin during hypothermic CPR in humans. This case report adds to the growing evidence that vasopressors may be useful to restore spontaneous circulation in hypothermic cardiac arrest patients prior to rewarming, thus avoiding prolonged mechanical CPR efforts, or usage of extracorporeal circulation. It may also support previous experience that the combination of both epinephrine and vasopressin may be necessary to achieve the vasopressor response needed for restoration of spontaneous circulation, especially after asphyxial cardiac arrest or during prolonged CPR efforts.
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4/16. Use of open chest cardiopulmonary resuscitation after failure of standard closed chest CPR: illustrative cases.

    Compared to standard closed chest CPR, open chest cardiac massage improves vital organ perfusion and survival in animal models of medical cardiac arrest. Yet its use is essentially limited to the treatment of traumatic arrest. Three cases of medical cardiac arrest are presented in which open chest compression was used after failure of external chest compression. These cases illustrate the range of potential outcomes and how this therapy can be optimally applied. Approaches we have used to prevent application of futile intensive therapy in patients unlikely to be neurologically intact survivors are described. Replacement of open chest CPR by closed chest CPR as the standard of care for the in-hospital cardiac arrest was not justified by experimental data. The circumstances of refractory cardiac arrest make it unlikely that well controlled human studies will be able to demonstrate the superiority of open chest CPR in selected patients. The decision to use this therapy will likely remain within the art of medicine.
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5/16. cardiomegaly and heart failure in a patient with prolactin-secreting pituitary tumour.

    Unexplained cardiomegaly with cardiac failure was observed in a 42-year-old woman in whom a pituitary tumour had been treated by radiotherapy five years previously. She had been amenorrhoeic for 10 years. Thyroid and adrenal function was normal. Despite treatment with digitalis and diuretic, her cardiac disease progressed until she died suddenly at the age of 45. Hyperprolactinaemia was evident some weeks before death, her serum concentration of 68 ng/ml being well above both the reported normal range (2--20 ng/ml) and the concentrations in eight female controls being treated for severe cardiac failure (5--25 ng/ml). Although the association of these two disorders might merely represent coincidence, heart disease with similar features is common in acromegaly and does not correlate with plasma growth hormone concentration. Since prolactin is known to exert metabolic growth hormone-like effects in animals and in man, the possibility should be considered that prolactin hypersecretion might induce or maintain cardiac disease in some patients with pituitary tumours. A preliminary survey of 35 subjects with hyperprolactinaemia has shown five with raised blood pressure and four, two of whom were normotensive, with cardiomegaly on chest radiography.
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6/16. High dose epinephrine in refractory pediatric cardiac arrest.

    Cardiac arrest has a poor prognosis, regardless of age group. Children who fail to respond to two standard doses of epinephrine (0.01 mg/kg) rarely survive to hospital discharge, and most die without the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). We treated seven consecutive children in cardiac arrest with high dose epinephrine (0.2 mg/kg) after failure to respond to two standard doses. Six had prompt and sustained ROSC. By comparison, in the previous 20 consecutive pediatric patients with cardiac arrest in which there was no response to two standard doses of epinephrine, none had ROSC. Previous animal data as well as anecdotal human experience suggest that the standard epinephrine dose (0.01 mg/kg) may be much too low.
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7/16. Conjunctival oxygen monitoring during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    The conjunctival oxygen tension (CjO2) sensor is a non-invasive, continuous index of oxygen delivery in the haemodynamically unstable patient. Human and animal studies have indicated that CjO2 reflects cerebral blood flow and oxygenation. Simple insertion, rapid stabilization and reaction time less than 60 s allow use in the initial stages of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) where invasive monitoring is often impracticable. CjO2 was monitored to assess cerebral oxygenation during CPR of 15 patients in cardiac arrest in the accident and emergency department (A&E). patients who arrested out of hospital with delay to advanced cardiac life support and died had CjO2 less than 20 mmHg (normal CjO2 50-60 mmHg) on arrival in A&E. CPR with closed chest cardiac massage (closed CPR) produced no improvement in CjO2. patients who arrested in ventricular fibrillation (VF) in A&E, and survived with no neurological deficit had CjO2 greater than 20 mmHg during CPR. However, further episodes of VF produced an immediate fall in CjO2 which continued, despite closed CPR, until restoration of spontaneous cardiac output (RSCO) determined by a palpable carotid pulse. In survivors with delay from arrest to CPR the rise in CjO2 with RSCO did not occur for up to 10 min. This study suggests that closed CPR has no value in maintaining or improving cerebral oxygenation during cardiac arrest. Further studies are required to determine the precise relationship of CjO2 to cerebral blood flow and oxygenation during CPR using open and closed techniques of cardiac massage. Open chest cardiac massage (open CPR) has been shown to produce near normal cerebral perfusion and if patients are to survive prolonged resuscitation neurologically intact guidelines for open CPR must be reviewed.
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8/16. Intraosseous drug administration: successful resuscitation from asystole.

    The case of a seven-month-old infant presenting in full cardiac arrest and resuscitated utilizing a right tibial intraosseous access line is presented. The child who presented in asystole appears to be the first reported case of the successful use of the intraosseous route as the sole source of drug administration. Flow time from tibia to clinical cardiac response was noted to be less than three minutes, similar to those in animal arrest models.
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9/16. Diffuse microglial proliferation after global ischemia in a patient with aplastic bone marrow.

    Abundant proliferation of cells having the histologic and tinctorial features of microglia, were seen in the brain of 34-year old man who suffered cardiac arrest 10 days before death and whose bone marrow was nearly totally depleted of white-blood-cell precursors. It is suggested, that in adult human brains there are native microglial precursors which can take on a phagocytic function. Therefore, brain macrophages do not have to originate from circulating monocytes, as suggested by some animal studies.
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10/16. Successful resuscitation of an elderly patient following cardiac arrest: possible role of reduction of reactive oxygen.

    The presence of hyperoxia during reperfusion following brain ischemia has been shown in experimental animals to result in increased mortality and increased lipid peroxidation. Although no human studies have been reported, prolonged hyperoxia after resuscitation from cardiac arrest probably would result in increased cerebral injury. We report the case of an 88-year-old man who had a 5- to 6-minute cardiac arrest and then had decerebrate posturing during the post-resuscitation period, indicating that he had suffered a significant ischemic/anoxic insult. Early attention was paid to normalizing the arterial Po2 following resuscitation, which, according to experimental evidence, contributed to his eventual complete recovery of neurologic function, including mental state.
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