Introduction This third study in the Sonography in Hypotension and Cardiac Arrest in the Emergency Department (SHoC-ED) series examined potential relationships between point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) use and the length of resuscitation, the frequency of interventions, and clinical outcomes during cardiac arrest. Methods A health records review was completed for adult patients (>19 years, without a do not resuscitate (DNR) order) who presented to a tertiary emergency department in cardiac arrest between 2010 and 2014. Patients were grouped based on PoCUS use and findings for cardiac activity. Data were analyzed for length of resuscitation, frequency of interventions, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival to hospital admission (SHA), and survival to hospital discharge (SHD). Results Of the 223 patients who met inclusion criteria, 180 (80.7%) received assessment by PoCUS during cardiac arrest management in the emergency department (ED). In the PoCUS group, 21 (11.6%) demonstrated cardiac activity and 159 (88.4%) did not. Patients with activity on PoCUS had longer mean resuscitation times (27.3; 95% confidence interval 17.7-37.0 min) than patients with no activity (11.51; 10.2-12.8 min) and patients who did not receive a PoCUS exam (14.36; 9.89-18.8 min). Patients with cardiac activity on PoCUS were more likely to receive endotracheal intubation (ET; 95.23%; 86.13-104.35%) and epinephrine (Epi; 100%; 100-100%) than patients with no activity (ET: 46.54%; 38.8-54.3%; Epi: 82.39%; 76.50-88.31%) and those with no PoCUS (ET: 65.11%; 50.87-79.36%; Epi: 81.39%; 69.76-93.03%). Those with no cardiac activity on PoCUS were much less likely to achieve ROSC (19.5%; 13.4-25.6), SHA (6.9%; 2.97-10.86%) and SHD (0.6%; -0.5-1.8%) compared to those with cardiac activity on PoCUS (ROSC; 76.19%; 57.97-94.4%), SHA (33.3%; 13.2-53.5%), SHD (9.5%; -3-22.07%), and those with no PoCUS (ROSC 39.5%; 24.9-54.1%; SHA 27.9%; 14.5- 41.3%, and SHD 6.9%; -0.6-14.59). Conclusions Emergency department cardiac arrest patients with cardiac activity on PoCUS received longer resuscitation with higher rates of intervention as compared to those with negative findings or when no PoCUS was performed. Patients with cardiac activity on PoCUS had improved clinical outcomes as compared with patients not receiving PoCUS, and patients with no activity on PoCUS.
Keywords: acls; cardiac arrest; point of care ultrasound; shoced.