Attendees were treated to an irreverent and timely review of 15 studies published in the last year. W. Richard Bukata, MD, clinical professor emergency medicine at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California, and Jerome R. Hoffman, MD, FACEP, professor of medicine emeritus at UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles, led the interactive discussion that covered a range of topics.
The first five studies focused on issues involving emergency medical services (EMS), including a 2015 study on the “Outcomes After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Treated by Basic vs. Advanced Life Support” by Sanghavi et al. Speakers discussed the study that showed patients who received basic life support (BLS) following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest fared better than patients who were treated by personnel with advanced life support (ALS) skills.
“The difference is only slight,” admitted Dr. Hoffman, who noted similar results from other studies, including the definitive Ontario Prehospital Advanced Life Support Study (OPALS). The key, he said, is early CPR—usually from bystanders—and early application of a defibrillator. “Everything else is just wasted time,” he said.