Aim: To describe the occurrence, characteristics and outcome among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who required continuation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on admission to the emergency department.
Patients: all patients in the municipality of Göteborg who suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, were reached by the emergency medical service (EMS) system and in whom CPR was initiated. Period for inclusion in study: 1 Oct. 1980-31 Dec. 1992.
Results: of 334 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 2,319 (68%) were receiving on-going CPR at the time of admission to hospital. Of these, 137 patients (6%) were hospitalized alive and 28 (1.2%) could be discharged from hospital. Of these patients, 39% had a cerebral performance categories (CPC) score of 1 (no cerebral deficiency), 18% had a CPC score of 2 (moderate cerebral deficiency), 36% had a CPC score of 3 (severe cerebral deficiency) and 7% had a CPC score of 4 (coma) at discharge. Among patients discharged. 76% were alive after 1 year.
Conclusion: among consecutive patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, CPR was ongoing in 68% of them on admission to hospital. Among these patients, 6% were hospitalized alive and 1.2% were discharged from hospital. Thus, among patients with ongoing CPR on admission to hospital, survivors can be found but they are few in numbers and extensive cerebral damage is frequently present.