Post-Resuscitation Management of the Poisoned Patient

  • Michael Lynch
  • Jon C. Rittenberger
Reference work entry


The care of patients by protocol following cardiac arrest has been associated with significant improvement in survival to hospital discharge in recent years, with studies citing >50% survival in patients suffering pulseless ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrests [1–3]. Survival improvements have been suggested but are less clear following cardiac arrest with an initial rhythm of asystole or pulseless electrical activity [4]. Management of cardiac arrest as a result of poisoning as well as subsequent postarrest care present unique challenges to providers. Concepts applied to postarrest care in all patients, including aggressive temperature management, maintenance of end-organ perfusion, oxygenation and ventilation, and correction of metabolic derangements, are likely to be transferrable to a poisoned patient population. However, the etiology and necessary interventions required to manage the arrest and postarrest sequelae vary greatly among poisoned patients and are distinct from patients suffering cardiac arrest as a result of underlying cardiopulmonary disease. At the same time, underlying disease must continue to be considered as a contributor and complicating factor of acute poisoning. Depending upon the inciting agent, management may include specific antidotal therapy, serum and/or urinary alkalinization, and/or rescue therapy such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in addition to standard advanced cardiac life support. Treatment modalities geared toward specific agents will be addressed in corresponding chapters.


Cardiac arrest Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation Hypoxemia Carbon monoxide Cardiac output Reperfusion injury Mean arterial pressure Vasopressors Epinephrine Phenylephrine Norepinephrine Dopamine Insulin Intravenous lipid emulsion Cardiopulmonary bypass Extracorporeal life support Therapeutic hypothermia Targeted temperature management Seizures Electroencephalogram 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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