Use of healthcare services before and after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Resuscitation. 2023 Jun:187:109805. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2023.109805. Epub 2023 Apr 23.


Introduction: Knowledge about the use of healthcare services in patients experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is limited. We aimed to describe and compare the use of healthcare by OHCA survivors two years before and one year after cardiac arrest.

Methods: Adult patients with OHCA of medical cause, who survived >30 days, were identified in the Norwegian Cardiac Arrest Registry. The Norwegian Patient Registry, The Cause of Death Registry, and The Norwegian Registry for Primary Healthcare provided data on survival and the use of healthcare services. We investigated the use of primary, specialist and mental healthcare, as well as rehabilitation services.

Results: In 2015-2018, 13,112 OHCA cases were identified; 1435 (14%) patients survived >30 days (6.8/100,000 patients/year). The proportion of patients in the cohort that used primary healthcare each month increased form 43% before to 69% after OHCA to (p < 0.001). We found a doubling of monthly healthcare contacts in specialist healthcare (from 26% to 57%, p < 0.001) and yearly contacts for mental healthcare (from 3% to 8%, p > 0.001). The observed increases in primary, specialist and mental healthcare use started two weeks, six months, and eight months before OHCA, respectively. Half of the patients had contact with primary healthcare services on the same day as the cardiac arrest. Two out of five patients were registered for rehabilitation after OHCA.

Conclusion: The use of primary, specialist and mental healthcare services increased before OHCA and remained significantly higher the year after OHCA. Less than half of the patients surviving cardiac arrest were registered for rehabilitation.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Healthcare utilization; Morbidity; Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation* / adverse effects
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Health Facilities
  • Humans
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest*
  • Registries