Cardiopulmonary resuscitation of older, inhospital patients: immediate efficacy and long-term outcome

Crit Care Med. 2000 Jul;28(7):2320-5. doi: 10.1097/00003246-200007000-00023.


Objective: To determine the independent effect of advancing age on prognosis after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Design and setting: Retrospective analysis of clinical records of patients who received CPR in a geriatric department equipped with an intensive care unit.

Patients: A total of 245 patients (146 men, 99 women; mean age, 70+/-11 yrs) received CPR. Of these, 221 had a cardiocirculatory arrest (CA) in the intensive care unit and 24 had a CA in the general ward of the department. Acute myocardial infarction was the most frequent admission diagnosis.

Interventions: CPR according to standard guidelines in all cases.

Measurements and main results: Immediate, short-term (hospital discharge), and long-term (median follow-up, 31.5 months; range, <1-124 months) survival. Older patients had a lower immediate survival (<70 yrs [72/137] 52.6% vs. > or =70 yrs [43/108] 39.4%; p < .05) and, less frequently, ventricular tachycardia/ fibrillation (VT/VF) as a cause of CA. VT/VF bore the lowest immediate mortality rate (19/104; 18.3%) as compared with asystole/complete heart block (66/102; 64.7%) or pulseless electrical activity (40/49; 81.6%; p < .001). Acute myocardial infarction, acute heart failure, hypotension, and occurrence of CA in the intensive care unit were also univariate predictors of unfavorable, immediate prognosis. However, in a multiple logistic analysis model, the mechanism of CA (asystole/complete heart block or pulseless electrical activity vs. VT/VF), acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and hypotension were independent predictors of unfavorable immediate prognosis, whereas advancing age was not. Similarly, after initially successful CPR, short-term survival was independently associated with acute myocardial infarction, hypotension before CA, initial rhythm at CA, and need for mechanical ventilatory support after CPR, but not with age. Longterm survival (42 patients; 17.2% of the original cohort; median survival, 32 months) was also independent of age, whereas it was negatively associated with heart failure.

Conclusion: Immediate, short- and long-term prognosis after in hospital CPR is independent of age, at least when possible confounders are simultaneously taken into account.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Geriatrics*
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome*