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Keywords:

  • cardiac arrest;
  • CPR;
  • defibrillation;
  • epinephrine;
  • evidence

Abstract

Objective

To systematically evaluate the evidence of the effect of advanced life support techniques on outcome in veterinary cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and to outline knowledge gaps.

Design

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 practice.

Setting

Academia, referral practice, and general practice

Results

Sixteen population, intervention, control group, outcome questions were evaluated to determine if recommendations could be made concerning drug therapy, including vasopressors, vagolytics, corticosteroids, reversal agents, buffer therapy, and correction of electrolyte disturbances. Electrical defibrillation strategies as well as other advanced interventions such as open-chest CPR, impedance threshold devices, and special considerations regarding anesthesia-related cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) were also investigated.

Conclusions

There is strong evidence supporting the use of standard-dose (0.01 mg/kg) epinephrine in CPR, as well as early electrical defibrillation for animals experiencing CPA due to ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia, preferentially using a biphasic defibrillator. For CPA due to certain causes and with the availability of advanced postcardiac arrest support, open chest CPR is preferred. Many knowledge gaps regarding other pharmacologic and advanced therapies were identified, and further studies are recommended to better systematically address these questions.