Treatment and outcome in post-resuscitation care after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest when a modern therapeutic approach was introduced

Resuscitation. 2007 Apr;73(1):40-5. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2006.08.018. Epub 2007 Jan 22.


Background: The outcome among patients who are hospitalised alive after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is still relatively poor. At present, there are no clear guidelines specifying how they should be treated. The aim of this survey was to describe the outcome for initial survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest when a more aggressive approach was applied.

Patients: All patients hospitalised alive after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the Municipality of Göteborg, Sweden, during a period of 20 months.

Results: Of all the patients in the municipality suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in whom cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was attempted (n=375), 85 patients (23%) were hospitalised alive and admitted to a hospital ward. Of them, 65% had a cardiac aetiology and 50% were found in ventricular fibrillation. In 32% of the patients, hypothermia was attempted, 28% underwent a coronary angiography and 21% had a mechanical revascularisation. In overall terms, 27 of the 85 patients who were brought alive to a hospital ward (32%) survived to 30 days after cardiac arrest. Survival was only moderately higher among patients treated with hypothermia versus not (37% versus 29%; NS), and it was markedly higher among those who had early coronary angiography versus not (67% versus 18%; p<0.0001).

Conclusion: In an era in which a more aggressive attitude was applied in post-resuscitation care, we found that the survival (32%) was similar to that in previous surveys. However, early coronary angiography was associated with a marked increase in survival and might be of benefit to many of these patients. Larger registries are important to further confirm the value of hypothermia in representative patient populations.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / mortality*
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Revascularization
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / mortality
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy