The First national survey on Practices of Neurological Prognostication
after Cardiac Arrest in China, still a lot to do
Aims: To investigate current practices and problems of neurological
prognostication in comatose cardiac arrest (CA) patients. Methods: An
anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 1600 emergency physicians in
75 hospitals which were selected randomly from China between January and
July 2018. Results: 92.1% respondents fulfilled the survey. The details
of the neurological prognosis were not well understood. The predictive
value of brain stem reflex, motor response and myoclonus was confirmed
by 63.5%, 44.6% and 31.7% respondents respectively. Only 30.7% knew
that GWR value <1.1 indicated poor prognosis and only 8.1%
know the most commonly used SSEP N20. Epileptiform, burst suppression,
and isoelectric was considered to predict poor outcome by 35.0%, 27.4%
and 45.7% respondents. 46.7% knew NSE, and only 24.7% knew S-100β.
Only a few respondents knew that neurological prognostication should be
performed later than 72h from CA either in TTM or non-TTM patients. In
practice, the most commonly used method was clinical examination
(85.4%). 67.9% had used brain CT for prognosis, and 18.4% for MRI.
NSE (39.6%) was a little more widely used than S-100β (18.0%).
However, SSEP (4.4%) and EEG (11.4%) were occasionally performed. The
survey may have been subject to bias ascertainment as only university
affiliated hospitals and university teaching hospitals were selected,
making it likely that the degree of neuroprognostication awareness and
practice reflected in our survey is an optimistic perspective.
Conclusions: Neurological prognostication in CA survivors had not been
well understood and performed by emergency physicians in China. They
were more likely to use clinical examination rather than objective
tools, especially SSEP and EEG, which also illustrated that multimodal
approach was not well performed in practice.