Effect of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in Sweden

Resuscitation. 2000 Sep;47(1):59-70. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9572(00)00199-4.


Background: Information from the Swedish Cardiac Arrest Registry was used to investigate: (a) The proportion of patients suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who were given bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (B-CPR). (b) Where and by whom B-CPR was given. (c) The effect of B-CPR on survival.

Method: a prospective, observational study of cardiac arrests reported to the Swedish Cardiac Arrest Registry. Analyses were based on standardised reports of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests from ambulance organisations in Sweden, serving 60% of the Swedish population. From 1983 to 1995 approximately 15-20% of the population had been trained in CPR.

Results: Of 9877 patients, collected between January 1990 and May 1995, B-CPR was attempted in 36%. In 56% of these cases, the bystanders were lay persons and in 25% they were medical personnel. Most of the arrests took place at home (69%) and only 23% of these patients were given B-CPR in contrast to cardiac arrest in other places where 53% were given CPR. Survival to 1 month was significantly higher in all cases that received B-CPR (8.2 vs. 2.5%). The odds ratio for survival to 1 month with B-CPR was in a logistic regression analysis 2.5 (95% CI 1.9-3.1).

Conclusions: In Sweden, the willingness and ability to perform B-CPR appears to be relatively widespread. More than half of B-CPR was performed by laypersons. B-CPR resulted in a two to threefold increase in survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Health Personnel*
  • Heart Arrest / physiopathology
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / epidemiology