Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 183-188

Resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims in Lebanon: The experience and views of prehospital providers

1 Department of Nursing, United Staffing Solutions, New York, USA
2 Department of Nursing, American University of Beirut Hariri School of Nursing, Beirut, Lebanon
3 Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
4 Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mazen El Sayed
Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_101_17

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Background: The survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) victims in Lebanon is much lower than those seen internationally. In this study, we examined the attitudes and practices of prehospital providers in resuscitation. Methods: We devised a cross-sectional survey with questions adopted from the literature including a study out of Lebanon. Questionnaires were mailed to 300 volunteers who were recruited from 10 centers of local emergency medical services (EMS). Results: A total of 258 questionnaires were returned (86% response rate). Most participants (>80%) were younger than 30 years, and males (60%). Over half reported witnessing up to 10 arrests per year, with 72.5% reporting prehospital return of spontaneous circulation in <6% of cases. Futile resuscitation was frequently (91%) practiced. Participants believed resuscitation should be withdrawn when prolonged (55.4%) or in the presence of advanced directives (34.1%) or terminal illness (27.5%). Reported resuscitation challenges were related to the reaction of witnesses (70.1%), to delay in calling EMS (84.4%), and to traffic delays (30%). Participants recommended training lay persons in resuscitation (79%), training prehospital providers in advanced airway management (68.2%) and intravenous skills (60.1%), providing medications in ambulances (57.7%), and adjusting traffic laws (52%). Conclusion: Prehospital providers in Lebanon face several challenges in their resuscitation practices. A multi-faceted strategy to improve resuscitation practices is needed in Lebanon. In addition to policy development, structural changes should be put in place for improved outcomes in OHCA victims.

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