Key messages

• There are two stages of cardiac resuscitation: the first is initial resuscitation with re-establishment of spontaneous circulation, and the second is management of post-resuscitation myocardial dysfunction.

• Post-resuscitation myocardial dysfunction includes mechanical dysfunction, characterized by decreased systolic and diastolic functions, and electrical dysfunction, characterized by potentially fatal ectopic ventricular rhythms.

• Doppler echocardiography has been a significant advance in monitoring the function of the heart, particularly in post-resuscitation patients.

• Mechanical circulatory support of the heart only serves as a bridge to more invasive interventions rather than definitive treatment.

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