Outcomes of out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation: their association with time to defibrillation and related issues in the defibrillation program in Japan

Resuscitation. 2000 Jul;45(2):83-90. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9572(00)00164-7.


The aim of this study was to provide data on the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation (VFOHCA) and analyze factors influencing patient outcomes in order to further improve EMS system performance in the resuscitation of VFOHCA patients in Japan. A datasheet was mailed to the fire defense headquarters throughout Japan, and returned data were analyzed for 614 cases of VFOHCA that occurred from January 1 through December 31, 1996. In relation to the time interval from receipt of emergency call to defibrillation, the subjects were stratified into five groups: 0-8 (n = 39), 9-12 (n = 87), 13-16 (n = 154), 17-20 (n = 118) and more than 21 min (n = 216). The discharge survival rates were 18*, 13.8*, 5.2, 4.2 and 4.2%, respectively (*P < 0.05). When defibrillation was delivered within 12 min after a call, 30.2% (38/126) converted to pulse-generating rhythm (PGR) after defibrillation and 43.6% (17/39) of patients with PGR on arrival at the hospital survived to discharge. In spite of these findings, a marked delay to defibrillation (more than 13 min) was observed in the majority (79.5%). The data shown in this study demonstrated that important issues that limit the benefits of an early defibrillation program reside in the EMS system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electric Countershock*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy*