Major differences in 1-month survival between hospitals in Sweden among initial survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Resuscitation. 2006 Sep;70(3):404-9. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2006.01.014. Epub 2006 Jul 10.


Aim: To explore the rate of survival to hospital discharge among patients who were brought to hospital alive after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in different hospitals in Sweden.

Patients and methods: All patients who had suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest which was not witnessed by the ambulance crew, in whom cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was started and who had a palpable pulse on admission to hospital were evaluated for inclusion. Each participating ambulance organisation and its corresponding hospital(s) required at least 50 patients fulfilling these criteria.

Results: Three thousand eight hundred and fifty three patients who were brought to hospital by 21 different ambulance organisations fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The number of patients rescued by each ambulance organisation varied between 55 and 900. The survival rate, defined as alive 1 month after cardiac arrest, varied from 14% to 42%. When correcting for dissimilarities in characteristics and factors of the resuscitation, the adjusted odds ratio for survival to 1 month among patients brought to hospital alive in the three ambulance organisations with the highest survival versus the three with the lowest survival was 2.63 (95% CI: 1.77-3.88).

Conclusion: There is a marked variability between hospitals in the rate of 1-month survival among patients who were alive on hospital admission after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. One possible contributory factor is the standard of post-resuscitation care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest*
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Rate*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors