RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 6: Post-cardiac arrest care


  • The authors and collaborators declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to

Dr. Sean Smarick, AVETS, 4224 Northern Pike Monroeville, PA 15146, USA.




To systematically examine the evidence for interventions after the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) on outcomes from veterinary cardiopulmonary resuscitation and to determine important knowledge gaps.


Standardized, systematic evaluation of the literature, categorization of relevant articles according to level of evidence and quality, and development of consensus on conclusions for application of the concepts to clinical post-cardiac arrest care.


Academia, referral practice, and general practice.


Fifteen standardized clinical questions important for post-cardiac arrest care were asked and research articles relevant to answering these questions were identified through structured, explicit literature database searches. The majority of these articles report research in species other than dogs or cats or consisted of experimental work in canine cardiac arrest models. Outcome metrics reported in these studies widely varied and ranged from quantification of mechanistic endpoints, such as elaboration of reactive oxygen species, to survival, and functional neurologic outcome.


Despite the near complete absence of clinical veterinary studies, the process allowed the formulation of statements for several postcardiac arrest treatments that were either supportive, such as mild therapeutic hypothermia or controlled reoxygenation, or neutral, such as for mannitol administration or seizure prophylaxis. Evidence grading allowed transparency in regards to the strength of these recommendations. Moreover, numerous knowledge gaps emerged that will allow generation of a road map for progress in veterinary post-cardiac arrest care.