Objective: To report the incidence, characteristics and outcome of adult in-hospital cardiac arrest in the United Kingdom (UK) National Cardiac Arrest Audit database.
Methods: A prospectively defined analysis of the UK National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA) database. 144 acute hospitals contributed data relating to 22,628 patients aged 16 years or over receiving chest compressions and/or defibrillation and attended by a hospital-based resuscitation team in response to a 2222 call. The main outcome measures were incidence of adult in-hospital cardiac arrest and survival to hospital discharge.
Results: The overall incidence of adult in-hospital cardiac arrest was 1.6 per 1000 hospital admissions with a median across hospitals of 1.5 (interquartile range 1.2-2.2). Incidence varied seasonally, peaking in winter. Overall unadjusted survival to hospital discharge was 18.4%. The presenting rhythm was shockable (ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia) in 16.9% and non-shockable (asystole or pulseless electrical activity) in 72.3%; rates of survival to hospital discharge associated with these rhythms were 49.0% and 10.5%, respectively, but varied substantially across hospitals.
Conclusions: These first results from the NCAA database describing the current incidence and outcome of adult in-hospital cardiac arrest in UK hospitals will serve as a benchmark from which to assess the future impact of changes in service delivery, organisation and treatment for in-hospital cardiac arrest.
Keywords: Cardiac arrest; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Epidemiology; In-hospital cardiac arrest; Outcome.
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