Out of hospital cardiac arrest in Vienna: incidence and outcome

Resuscitation. 2013 Jan;84(1):42-7. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Jul 13.


Aim of the study: To determine the incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and the survival rate of those patients who received CPR in the city of Vienna.

Methods: A cohort of patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and who were treated by the Vienna Ambulance Service between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, were followed up until either death or hospital discharge. The associations of survival and neurological outcome with their potential predictors were analysed using simple logistic regression models. Odds ratios were estimated for each factor.

Results: During the observation period, a total of 7030 (206.8/100,000 inhabitants/year) patients without signs of circulation were assessed by teams of the Vienna Ambulance Service, and 1448 adult patients were resuscitated by emergency medical service personnel. A sustained return of spontaneous circulation was reported in 361 (24.9%) of the treated patients, and in all 479 (33.0%) of the patients were taken to the emergency department. A total of 164 (11.3%) of the patients were discharged from the hospital alive, and 126 (8.7%) of the patients showed cerebral performance categories of 1 or 2 at the time of discharge. Younger age, an arrest in a public area, a witnessed arrest and a shockable rhythm were associated with a higher probability of survival to hospital discharge.

Conclusion: Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests remain low. Efforts should be focused on rapidly initiating basic life support, early defibrillation, and high-quality CPR by emergency medical services and state-of-the art post-resuscitation care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / epidemiology*
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • Survival Rate