In-hospital resuscitation: association between ACLS training and survival to discharge

Resuscitation. 2000 Sep;47(1):83-7. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9572(00)00210-0.


Context: No data have been published on the relationship between advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) training of the individual who initiates resuscitation efforts and survival to discharge.

Objective: To determine whether patients whose arrests were discovered by nurses trained in ACLS had survival rates different from those discovered by nurses not trained in ACLS.

Design: Cohort case-comparison.

Setting: A 550-bed, tertiary care center in central Georgia.

Subjects: Patients whose cardiopulmonary arrest was discovered by a nurse who activated the in-hospital resuscitation mechanism.

Main outcome measure: Patient survival to discharge.

Results: Initial rhythm was strongly related to survival to discharge and individually associated with 57% of the variability in survival. Nurse's training in advanced cardiac life support was also strongly related to survival and individually associated with 29% of the variability. Combining both the variables determined 62% of the variability in survival to discharge. Patients discovered by an ACLS-trained nurse (n=88) were about four times more likely to survive (33 survivors, 38%) than were patients, discovered by a nurse without training in ACLS (n=29, three survivors, 10%).

Conclusion: Arrest discovery by nurses trained in ACLS is significantly and dramatically associated with higher survival-to-discharge rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support* / education*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Education, Nursing*
  • Heart Arrest / physiopathology
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Heart Rate
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Nurses*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors