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Resuscitation. 2003 Jan;56(1):55-8.

Opportunities to prevent sudden out-of-hospital death due to coronary heart disease in a community.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. wu.lambert@mayo.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Intervening successfully to reduce the burden of sudden out-of-hospital death due to coronary heart disease (OHCD) requires knowledge of where these deaths occur and whether they are observed by bystanders.

METHODS:

To establish the proportion of OHCDs that were witnessed and where they occurred, we reviewed the coroner's notes and medical records of a previously-described sample of OHCD cases among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota. This cohort (n=113) consisted of a 10% random sample of all Olmsted County residents who died out-of-hospital between 1981 and 1994 and whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

RESULTS:

Excluding deaths in nursing homes (n=27), 71 (83%) of the deaths occurred in private homes and 15 (17%) occurred in public places. The event was not witnessed in 59% of deaths occurring in private homes and in 20% of deaths occurring in public places. The presence or absence of a bystander could not be established for 10% of deaths in private homes and 7% of deaths in public areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant proportion of OHCDs occur in private homes and are not witnessed. Prevention of unwitnessed deaths will require programs that result in primary prevention and/or calls to first responders at the time of impending cardiac arrest.

PMID:
12505739
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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