Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Outcomes and Trainee Perception of Code Status Discussions in Patients with Cirrhosis

Dig Dis Sci. 2024 Apr 23. doi: 10.1007/s10620-024-08443-4. Online ahead of print.


Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) outcomes among patients with cirrhosis are poor, but factors associated with outcomes and provider awareness remain under-evaluated.

Aims: We retrospectively investigated in-hospital CPR mortality among patients with cirrhosis, and, using these results, undertook an educational study among providers to improve knowledge of CPR outcomes and code status in patients with cirrhosis.

Methods: We identified patients with cirrhosis admitted from 2012 to 2022 who underwent CPR at our center; the primary outcome was survival-to-discharge. A brief video based on these results was presented online to Internal Medicine residents, along with paired pre/post-surveys assessing attitudes toward holding code status conversations and knowledge of CPR outcomes in patients with cirrhosis.

Results: 97 cases of CPR were identified. 27 patients (28%) survived to discharge post-CPR. A history of liver decompensation was significantly associated with lower survival (OR 0.21, p < 0.05). 22 residents participated in the educational intervention; afterward, their estimation of survival after CPR for patients with cirrhosis significantly improved (p < 0.05). Mean confidence in answering patient questions about prognosis, measured from 1 to 5, also significantly improved (2.4-"a little confident" vs. 3.8-"confident", p < 0.05). 59% of surveyed residents identified impact on liver transplant candidacy as at least a "somewhat significant" barrier to code status conversations.

Conclusions: We identified significant trainee uncertainty about outcomes in patients with cirrhosis. These deficits improved after an educational intervention and gave providers more confidence in holding informed code status conversations with patients with cirrhosis, a population that faces barriers to adequate code discussions.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Cirrhosis; Medical education; Palliative care.