An interesting new study was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at the use of epinephrine (or adrenaline) in the treatment of patients who suffered a cardiac arrest before they arrived at a hospital.
At present, epinephrine is the go-to treatment for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. But new data from researchers at Kyushu University School of Medicine in Japan showed that the injection may do more harm than good to patients in the long-term.
Researchers looked at data from 417,188 adult patients in Japan who suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. These subjects were treated by emergency medical service personnel and then taken to the hospital. More than 15,000 were treated with an adrenaline shot, while the remaining patients received other care. The researchers found that patients who were given the epinephrine were less likely to be alive one month later. And if they were alive, they were likely to have neurological problems.
The study's authors recommend a closer look into the use of adrenaline or epinephrine injections to treat cardiac arrest and that more focus be given to the treatments that are known to improve patient survival rates, such as CPR and simple defibrillation.