Quarterly scientific journal

In-Hospital Cardiopulmonary Arrest: The Role of Clinical Nurses as First Responders

George Kipourgos , Stavros Papakonstantopoulos , Eleni Albani , Anastasios Tzenalis


Introduction: Early recognition of an in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest, as well as prompt support, are critical prognostic indicators, according to the European Resuscitation Council. Clinical nurses are the health professionals, who on the one hand are closely linked to the caring of patients, as they are present 24 hours per day near the patient, but on the other hand, they are the ones who will first recognize signs and symptoms of clinical deterioration, as well as confirmation of cardiopulmonary arrest. As first responders, they have a multi-dimensional role by which they mobilize life-saving interventions for the final outcome. Purpose: To describe the role of nurses when recognizing a worsening clinical condition, as well as during a cardiopulmonary arrest. Material and Method: Review of the international literature in the international electronic databases PubMed, Science Direct, Springer Link and Google Scholar was performed on the subject. Results: The early recognition of a clinical burden, as well as the immediate confirmation of a cardiopulmonary arrest, are crucial factors for the positive outcome of each incident. It is research-documented and non-negotiable that staff training, the ability to monitor vital functions, the recognition of dangerous situations, and the use of standardized structured communication and incident delivery tools are crucial factors. Conclusions: Nurses who have the knowledge and experience to recognize the early warning signs of a clinical deterioration usually catch a cardiopulmonary arrest. However, if the patient suffers an arrest, the same nurses recognize it in time, inform the corresponding team (according to the protocol of the nursing institution) and undertake to resuscitate the patient themselves, performing skills and using appropriate equipment.

Keywords: nurses., inhospital cardiac arrest, first responder

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