Long-term outcomes following pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest*

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2013 Oct;14(8):755-60. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e31829763e2.


Objectives: Pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is an uncommon event with measurable short-term survival to hospital discharge. For those who survive to hospital discharge, little is known regarding duration of survival. We sought to evaluate the arrest circumstances and long-term survival of pediatric patients who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and survived to hospital discharge.

Design: Retrospective cohort study

Setting: King County, WA Emergency Medical Service Catchment and Quaternary Care Children's Hospital

Patients: Persons less than 19 years old who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and were discharged alive from the hospital between 1976 and 2007.

Intervention: None.

Measurements and main results: During the study period, 1,683 persons less than 19 years old were treated for pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the study community, with 91 patients surviving to hospital discharge. Of these 91 survivors, 20 (22%) subsequently died during 1449 person-years of follow-up. Survival following hospital discharge was 92% at 1 year, 86% at 5 years, and 77% at 20 years. Compared to those who subsequently died, long-term survivors were more likely at the time of discharge to be older (mean age, 8 vs 1 yr), had a witnessed arrest (83% vs 56%), presented with a shockable rhythm (40% vs 10%), and had a favorable Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category of 1 or 2 (67% vs 0%).

Conclusions: In this population-based cohort study evaluating the long-term outcome of pediatric survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, we observed that long-term survival was generally favorable. Age, arrest characteristics, and functional status at hospital discharge were associated with prognosis. These findings support efforts to improve pediatric resuscitation, stabilization, and convalescent care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / mortality*
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Washington