Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Eric Van Hecke, PA-C, EMCAQ


Background: Cardiac arrest is a devastating disorder that affects millions of people each year. Often having a sudden onset, cardiac arrest is almost certainly lethal if prompt treatment is not started. In hopes to both better understand how treatment of cardiac arrest has evolved and to quantitatively measure the outcome of defibrillation, multiple pieces of literature have been reviewed.

Methods: Articles were found that were pertinent by using PubMed and Google Scholar. Literature was obtained that researched a wide spectrum of topics relating to defibrillation and cardiac arrest that did not focus on traumatic cardiac arrests as it is beyond the scope of this paper.

Conclusion: The use of defibrillation has been thoroughly researched for decades, showing a reduction in mortality. Evidence-based research has continuously concluded the benefits of early defibrillation far outweighs any potential adverse outcome. Although algorithms used during treatment in cardiac arrest have varied significantly over the past 100 years, defibrillation remains a staple in the treatment. Governing agencies like the American Heart Association have consistently advocated for early defibrillation over the last few decades as more data has become available, specifically the data on the reduction of mortality. With the rapid adaptation of using Automated External Defibrillators in public locations, we can safely conclude that mortality rates will continue to decline. Further research is needed to determine the ideal order of interventions during cardiac arrest, as there is much debate on the correct ratio of compressions to ventilations and the use of medications to help ‘jump start’ the heart.


SC 11.PAS.2021.Lueddecke.N

Included in

Cardiology Commons