The pathophysiology of cardiorespiratory arrest and principles of post-resuscitation intensive care

Abstract

Oxygen supply to the tissues is dependent on both cardiac output (which is determined by blood volume and myocardial function) and the oxygen tension of arterial blood (which reflects respiratory status). Abnormalities of these parameters may occur individually or together to progress ultimately to combined cardiorespiratory collapse. Life support measures are then required to restore the oxygen supply to vital organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys and liver while attempts to restore normal cardiorespiratory status are made. Survival following cardiorespiratory arrest is enhanced if resuscitation is promptly instituted by skilled resuscitators, and a clear understanding of the mechanisms of cardiorespiratory collapse are essential to the efficient management of these patients

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