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Analysis of clinical outcomes following in-hospital adult cardiac arrest

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Abstract Aims: 

The outcome of in-hospital resuscitation following cardiac arrest depends on many factors related to the patient, the environment and the extent of resuscitation efforts. The aim of the present study was to determine predictors of successful resuscitation and survival to ­hospital discharge following in-hospital cardiac arrest and to assess functional outcomes of survivors (cerebral performance scores). Methods: 

Medical records of adult patients sustaining in-hospital cardiac arrest between June 2001 and January 2003 were reviewed. Successful resuscitation was defined as the return of spontaneous circulation at the completion of resuscitative efforts, irrespective of degree of inotropic/vasopressor support. Thirty demographic and clinical variables were analysed to determine predictors of successful resuscitation and in-hospital survival. Results: 

In 105 patients with cardiac arrest, 46 patients (44%) were successfully resuscitated and 22 (21%) ­survived to hospital discharge. Predictors of successful resuscitation included a primary cardiac admission diagnosis, monitoring at the time of the arrest, a longer duration of resuscitation and the absence of the need for endotracheal intubation. Patients with ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation were more likely to survive to hospital discharge than those with asystolic or pulseless electrical activity (45 vs 12 vs 20%, P = 0.01). The sole independent predictor of survival to hospital discharge was the absence of the need for endotracheal intu­bation (odds ratio 0.14, 95% confidence interval 0.02−0.88, P < 0.01). The majority of survivors (73%) had normal cerebral performance scores. Conclusions: 

Identification of predictors of successful resuscitation following cardiac arrest is important for risk stratification. Ongoing appraisal of in-hospital cardiac arrests through a multicentre registry could improve clinical outcomes. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 398−402)

Keywords: in-hospital cardiac arrest; resuscitation; survival

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Cardiology and 2: Intensive Care, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 3: CogState Ltd and

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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