Battlefield Extracorporeal Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Feasibility Study During Military Exercises

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Reva VA, Pochtarnik AA, Shelukhin DA, Skvortzov AE, Semenov EA, Emelyanov AA, Nosov AM, Demchenko KN, Reznik ON, Samokhvalov IM, DuBose JJ 20(4). 77 - 83 (Journal Article)

Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of prehospital extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (E-CPR) in the military exercise setting. Methods: Three 40kg Sus scrofa (wild swine) underwent controlled 35% blood loss and administration of potassium chloride to achieve cardiac arrest (CA). During CPR, initiated 1 minute after CA, the animals were transported to Role 1. Femoral vessels were cannulated, followed by E-CPR using a portable perfusion device. Crystalloid and blood transfusions were initiated, followed by tactical evacuation to Role 2 and 4-hour observation. Results: All animals developed sustained asystole. Chest compressions supported effective but gradually deteriorating blood circulation. Two animals underwent successful E-CPR, with restoration of perfusion pressure to 80mmHg (70-90mmHg) 25 and 23 minutes after the induction of CA. After transportation to Role 2, one animal developed abdominal compartment syndrome as a result of extensive (9L) fluid replacement. The other animal received a lower volume of crystalloids (4L), and no complications occurred. In the third animal, multiple attempts to cannulate arteries were unsuccessful because of spasm and hypotension. Open aortic cannulation enabled the circuit to commence. No return of spontaneous circulation was ultimately achieved in either of the remaining animals. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates both the potential feasibility of battlefield E-CPR and the evolving capability in the care of severey injured combat casualties.

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