Incidence and Outcomes of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in PICUs

Crit Care Med. 2016 Apr;44(4):798-808. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000001484.


Objectives: To determine the incidence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in PICUs and subsequent outcomes.

Design, setting, and patients: Multicenter prospective observational study of children younger than 18 years old randomly selected and intensively followed from PICU admission to hospital discharge in the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network December 2011 to April 2013.

Results: Among 10,078 children enrolled, 139 (1.4%) received cardiopulmonary resuscitation for more than or equal to 1 minute and/or defibrillation. Of these children, 78% attained return of circulation, 45% survived to hospital discharge, and 89% of survivors had favorable neurologic outcomes. The relative incidence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation events was higher for cardiac patients compared with non-cardiac patients (3.4% vs 0.8%, p <0.001), but survival rate to hospital discharge with favorable neurologic outcome was not statistically different (41% vs 39%, respectively). Shorter duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation was associated with higher survival rates: 66% (29/44) survived to hospital discharge after 1-3 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation versus 28% (9/32) after more than 30 minutes (p < 0.001). Among survivors, 90% (26/29) had a favorable neurologic outcome after 1-3 minutes versus 89% (8/9) after more than 30 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Conclusions: These data establish that contemporary PICU cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including long durations of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, results in high rates of survival-to-hospital discharge (45%) and favorable neurologic outcomes among survivors (89%). Rates of survival with favorable neurologic outcomes were similar among cardiac and noncardiac patients. The rigorous prospective, observational study design avoided the limitations of missing data and potential selection biases inherent in registry and administrative data.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors