The most common electrophysiologic mechanisms leading to SCD are tachyarrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Interruption of tachyarrhythmias, using either an automatic external defibrillator (AED) or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), has been shown to be an effective treatment for VF and VT. The implantable defibrillator has become the central therapeutic factor in the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death.
Patients with tachyarrhythmias, especially VT, carry the best overall prognosis among patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).Two hundred forty-two patients were included (73 % male, median age 65 years). In 76 % the cardiac arrest was of cardiac origin and 52 % had a shockable rhythm. In 74 % the cardiac arrest was witnessed, 76 % received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and in 39 % an automatic external defibrillator (AED) was used. Of the 168 hospitalised patients, 144 underwent therapeutic procedures. A total of 105 patients survived until hospital discharge.