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Saul Drajer, MD*; Sergio Timerman, MD**
*Argentina, **Brazil; IAHF / ECC Committee
The last 40 years have successfully seen the rise and expansion of a powerful discipline where physicians, nurses, paramedics and layman were equally involved: Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC). The rescue of victims in cardio-respiratory arrest by means of regulated maneuvers led to an improvement in its fatal prognosis. Furthermore, there is an increasing tendency in anticipate treatments to avoid the appearance of some severe complications related to coronary or cerebrovascular attack. The aggressive, precocious approach had shown to be fruitful, yielding less mortality and sequelae.
Expired air ventilation, external massage and closed chest defibrillation was the tripod where resuscitation science stood from its very beginning. Early diagnostic methods, community as the prime cardiopulmonary care unit and a more aggresive approach was the logic evolution of the mentioned tripod. Last but not least, the appearance of the "users friendly" automatic external defibrillator (AED) with its rational guiding capability, dramatically changed the outcome of out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation.
All those advances need a parallel development of adequate manpower at any level, if the task is to cope with the most frequent cause of death in almost every country in the world. To train rescuers, trainers and trainer´s trainers; verify their skills and update the accepted science behind ECC is an unavoidable Public Health task who must be accomplished.
For the first time in history, and hosted by the American Heart Association, every organization devoted to ECC in the world had the chance to participate in the unification of scientific criteria on the subject. This important two years effort, backed by evidence based medicine criteria, ended in a resume Conference where the new 2000 Guidelines for CPR and ECC were presented. In other words, we have today an unified reference guide to lead our steps in the field.
The InterAmerican Heart Foundation (IAHF) where all organizations interested in the improvement of cardiovascular health in the Americas and the Caribbean gather, has an ECC Committee. In its short life history, the ECC Committee has teached hundreds of CPR trainers and helped to create and develop National Resuscitation Councils (NRC) in every country, dedicated to the coordination of efforts among a ll organizations devoted to CPR.
The IAHF / ECC Committee kindly accepted the challenge proposed by the Second Virtual Congress of Cardiology Scientific Committee: organize a Symposium on ECC. Twenty two authors, in 5 Round Tables and 3 Conferences, have finally coped with the task.
Round Table 1, dealing with "New topics in CPR" intend to answer questions such as: Has AED a role inside the Hospital? Or which ethical and legal principles rules the use of AED´s?. As far as there is an increasing resistance to perform mouth to mouth breathing, has resuscitation without ventilation any role in CPR? And finally the big question: Where should we go from now on in CPR?
Round Table 2 on "CPR Pharmacology" and Round Table 5 on "State of the Art in Myocardial Ischaemia" are clearly introduced by their respective moderators. Please refer to their papers.
Round Table 3 is about "Complications and Special Care in CPR". Items like left ventricular failure, hypotension and shock, atrial fibrillation, cerebral reanimation and post-resuscitation care are widely developed by the authors.
In Round Table 4 "Special situations & Pediatric topics in CPR" has two papers devoted to children: one on pediatric trauma evaluation and the other on pediatric post-resuscitation care. Hypothermia, a special CPR situation who need specific diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, is also discussed.
Lecture 1 on "Drowning" and Lecture 2 "Does Neonatal Resuscitation deserve a special chapter?" are specifically introduced by their chairpersons. Lecture 3, written by a Priest, deals with the sensitive subject of "Ethics in CPR".
We are deeply indebted all our "speakers", each one of them a renowned specialist in their field, for their effort.
Dear Member of the Congress. We hope you will enjoy our Symposium. Also we hope to hear from you about questions, reflections or critics.
Thanks for joining us
2nd Virtual Congress of Cardiology
Dr. Florencio Garófalo
Dr. Raúl Bretal
Dr. Armando Pacher
Technical Committee - CETIFAC
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