Utstein-style guidelines on uniform reporting of in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs and cats. A RECOVER statement

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2016 Jan-Feb;26(1):11-34. doi: 10.1111/vec.12436. Epub 2016 Jan 6.


Objective: To provide recommendations for reviewing and reporting clinical in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) events in dogs and cats and to establish nonambiguous operational definitions for CPR terminology.

Design: Consensus guidelines.

Setting: International, academia, referral practice, general practice, and human medicine.

Methods: An international veterinary Utstein task force was convened in April 2013 in San Francisco to determine the scope of the project, the variables to be reported, their definitions, and a reporting template. Factors that were essential for meaningful data reporting and were amenable to accurate collection (ie, core variables) and additional variables useful for research projects and hypothesis generation (ie, supplemental variables) were defined. Consensus on each item was either achieved during that meeting or during the subsequent online modified Delphi process and dialogue between task force members.

Results: Variables were defined and categorized as hospital, animal, event (arrest), and outcome variables. This report recommends a template for standardized reporting of veterinary in-hospital CPR studies involving dogs or cats. Core elements include the suspected cause(s) and location of arrest, first rhythm identified, the occurrence of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) of more than 30 seconds (any ROSC) or more than 20 minutes (sustained ROSC), survival to discharge, and functional capacity at discharge. If CPR is discontinued or the patient is euthanized by owner request, a reason is reported. The task force suggests a case report form to be used for individual resuscitation events.

Conclusions: The availability of these veterinary small animal CPR reporting guidelines will encourage and facilitate high-quality veterinary CPR research, improve data comparison between studies and across study sites, and serve as the foundation for veterinary CPR registries.

Keywords: Utstein; cardiac arrest; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; guidelines; small animal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / veterinary*
  • Cat Diseases / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Heart Arrest / veterinary*
  • Hospitals, Animal / standards
  • Humans
  • Medical Records / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*