Publications by authors named "M C Sassen"

44 Publications

[Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during lockdown].

Notf Rett Med 2021 Aug 24:1-6. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Zentrum für Notfallmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg, Standort Marburg, Baldingerstraße, 35043 Marburg, Deutschland.

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide. Consequences of infection prevention measures during such contagion events can cause disadvantages especially for patients in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Methods: Retrospective analysis of OHCAs in one county from January-May in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with the first appearance of the SARS-CoV‑2 pandemic in 2020 and a high incidence of the influenza virus in 2018.

Results: A total of 497 OHCAs were investigated (2018  = 173; 2019  = 149; 2020  = 175). In this study, a constant resuscitation incidence (85-99 resuscitations/100,000 population/year) and locally typical patients (mean 70 years, 66% male; median PES 3) were found. There were no statistically significant differences in the initial situation of the patients (number of observed OHCAs, frequency of lay resuscitations, suspected causes of OHCAs, initial ECG rhythm) and the treatment course (frequency of return of spontaneous circulation [ROSC]/hospital admission/survival to hospital discharge, neurological outcome). None of the OHCA patients in 2020 tested positive for SARS-CoV‑2 and 3 patients in 2018 tested positive for the influenza virus.

Discussion: The lockdown during the first wave of SARS-CoV‑2 pandemic does not seem to have affected the outcome of OHCA patients without coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the end.
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August 2021

Time to change the times? Time of recurrence of ventricular fibrillation during OHCA.

Resuscitation 2020 12 3;157:219-224. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Center of Emergency Medicine, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Aim Of The Study: For out-of-hospital-cardiac-arrest (OHCA) due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) guidelines recommend early defibrillation followed by chest compressions for two minutes before analyzing shock success. If rhythm analysis reveals VF again, it is obscure whether VF persisted or reoccurred within the two-minutes-cycle of chest compressions after successful defibrillation. We investigated the time of VF-recurrence in OHCA.

Methods: We examined all cases of OHCA presenting with initial VF rhythm at arrival of ALS-ambulance (Marburg-Biedenkopf-County, 246.648 inhabitants) from January 2014 to March 2018. Three independent investigators analyzed corpuls3® ECG-recordings. We included ECG-data from CPR-beginning until four minutes after the third shock. VF termination was defined as the absence of a VF-waveform within 5 s of shock delivery. VF recurrence was defined as the presence of a VF-waveform in the interval 5 s post shock delivery.

Results: We included 185 shocks in 82 patients. 74.1% (n = 137) of all shocks terminated VF, but VF recurred in 81% (n = 111). The median (IQR) time of VF-recurrences was 27 s (13.5 s/80.5 s) after shock. 51.4% (n = 57) of VF-recurrence occurred 5-30 s after shock, 13.5% (n = 15) VF-recurrence occurred 31-60 s after shock, 21.6% (n = 24) of VF-recurrence occurred 61-120 s after shock, 13.5% (n = 15) of VF-recurrence occurred 121-240 s after shock.

Conclusions: Although VF was terminated by defibrillation in 74.1%, VF recurred in 81% subsequent to the chest compression interval. Thus, VF reappears frequently and early. It is unclear to which extend chest compressions influence VF-relapse. Further studies need to re-evaluate the algorithm, timing of antiarrhythmic therapy or novel defibrillation strategies to minimize refibrillation during shockable OHCA.
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December 2020

Hypothermia does not influence liver damage and function in a porcine polytrauma model.

Technol Health Care 2018 ;26(2):209-221

Center for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Marburg, Germany.

Background: Previous studies revealed evidence that induced hypothermia attenuates ischemic organ injuries after severe trauma. In the present study, the effect of hypothermia on liver damage was investigated in a porcine long term model of multi-system injury, consisting of blunt chest trauma, penetrating abdominal trauma, musculoskeletal injury, and hemorrhagic shockMETHODS: In 30 pigs, a standardized polytrauma including blunt chest trauma, penetrating abdominal trauma, musculoskeletal injury, and hemorrhagic shock of 45% of total blood volume was induced. Following trauma, hypothermia of 33∘C was induced for 12 h and intensive care treatment was evaluated for 48 h. As outcome parameters, we assessed liver function and serum transaminase levels as well as a histopathological analysis of tissue samples. A further 10 animals served as controls.

Results: Serum transaminase levels were increased at the end of the observation period following hypothermia without reaching statistical significance compared to normothermic groups. Liver function was preserved (p⩽ 0.05) after the rewarming period in hypothermic animals but showed no difference at the end of the observation period. In H&E staining, cell death was slightly increased hypothermic animals and caspase-3 staining displayed tendency towards more apoptosis in hypothermic group as well.

Conclusions: Induction of hypothermia could not significantly improve hepatic damage during the first 48 h following major trauma. Further studies focusing on multi-organ failure including a longer observation period are required to illuminate the impact of hypothermia on hepatic function in multiple trauma patients.
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October 2018

Long-Term Effects of Induced Hypothermia on Local and Systemic Inflammation - Results from a Porcine Long-Term Trauma Model.

PLoS One 2016 4;11(5):e0154788. Epub 2016 May 4.

Department of Orthopedic Trauma and Harald Tscherne Research Laboratory, University Hospital Aachen, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

Background: Hypothermia has been discussed as playing a role in improving the early phase of systemic inflammation. However, information on the impact of hypothermia on the local inflammatory response is sparse. We therefore investigated the kinetics of local and systemic inflammation in the late posttraumatic phase after induction of hypothermia in an established porcine long-term model of combined trauma.

Materials & Methods: Male pigs (35 ± 5kg) were mechanically ventilated and monitored over the study period of 48 h. Combined trauma included tibia fracture, lung contusion, liver laceration and pressure-controlled hemorrhagic shock (MAP < 30 ± 5 mmHg for 90 min). After resuscitation, hypothermia (33°C) was induced for a period of 12 h (HT-T group) with subsequent re-warming over a period of 10 h. The NT-T group was kept normothermic. Systemic and local (fracture hematoma) cytokine levels (IL-6, -8, -10) and alarmins (HMGB1, HSP70) were measured via ELISA.

Results: Severe signs of shock as well as systemic and local increases of pro-inflammatory mediators were observed in both trauma groups. In general the local increase of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediator levels was significantly higher and prolonged compared to systemic concentrations. Induction of hypothermia resulted in a significantly prolonged elevation of both systemic and local HMGB1 levels at 48 h compared to the NT-T group. Correspondingly, local IL-6 levels demonstrated a significantly prolonged increase in the HT-T group at 48 h.

Conclusion: A prolonged inflammatory response might reduce the well-described protective effects on organ and immune function observed in the early phase after hypothermia induction. Furthermore, local immune response also seems to be affected. Future studies should aim to investigate the use of therapeutic hypothermia at different degrees and duration of application.
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July 2017

A porcine polytrauma model with two different degrees of hemorrhagic shock: outcome related to trauma within the first 48 h.

Eur J Med Res 2015 Sep 4;20:73. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Trauma Department, University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany.

Background: An animal polytrauma model was developed, including trunk and extremity injuries combined with hemorrhagic shock and a prolonged post-traumatic phase. This could be useful for the assessment of different therapeutic approaches during intensive care therapy.

Methods: A standardized polytrauma including lung contusion, liver laceration and lower leg fracture was applied in 25 pigs. They underwent controlled haemorrhage either with a blood volume loss of 45 % and a median arterial pressure (MAP) <30 mmHg/90 min (group L, n = 15) or a 50 % blood loss of and an MAP <25 mmHg/120 min (group H, n = 10). Five non-traumatized pigs served as a control (group C). Subsequently, intensive care treatment was given for an observational period of 48 h.

Results: Both trauma groups showed signs of shock and organ injury (heart rate, MAP and lactate). The frequency of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and lung injury was directly related to the severity of the haemorrhagic shock (CPR-group L: 4 of 15 pigs, group H: 4 of 10 pigs; Respiratory failure-group L: 3 of 13, group H: 3 of 9. There was no difference in mortality between trauma groups.

Conclusion: The present data suggest that our model reflects the mortality and organ failure of polytrauma in humans during shock and the intensive care period. This suggests that the experimental protocol could be useful for the assessment of therapeutic approaches during the post-traumatic period.
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September 2015