Aims: Delay in administration of epinephrine is associated with decreased survival among children with in-hospital cardiac arrest with an initial non-shockable rhythm. Whether this association is applicable to paediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) population remains unknown. We aimed to determine whether time to epinephrine administration is associated with outcomes in paediatric OHCA.
Methods and results: This was a nation-wide population-based study of paediatric OHCA in Japan from 2005 to 2012 based on data from the All-Japan Utstein Registry. We included paediatric OHCA patients (aged between 1 and 17 years) who received at least one dose of epinephrine. The primary outcome was 30-day survival. A total of 225 patients were included in the final cohort. Among the 225 patients, 23 (10.2%) survived 30 days after OHCA. The median time from emergency call to first epinephrine administration was 26 min [interquartile range, 20-32; range, 9-128; mean (standard deviation), 28.7 (15.5) min]. Longer time to epinephrine administration was associated with decreased chance of survival: 50.0, 41.2, 13.0, 11.6, 3.9, and 3.1%, respectively, when time to epinephrine was treated as a categorical variable categorized into ≤10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, or > 30 min (P for trend <0.0001), and adjusted odds ratio 0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.82-0.96, P = 0.0011) when time to epinephrine was treated as a linear and continuous variable in a multivariable logistic regression model. Similar trends were observed for prehospital return of spontaneous circulation (P = 0.0032) and neurologically favourable survival (P = 0.0014).
Conclusions: Among paediatric OHCA patients, delayed administration of epinephrine was associated with a decreased chance of favourable outcomes.