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Resuscitation. 2013 May;84(5):635-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.09.019. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Outcomes of patients with trauma and intraoperative cardiac arrest.

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  • 1Discipline of Anesthesiology, Clinical Hospital, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, 255 Doctor Eneas de Carvalho Aguiar Avenue, Cerqueira Cesar, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.



Although the occurrence of intraoperative cardiac arrest is rare, it is a severe adverse event with a high mortality rate. Trauma patients have additional causes for intraoperative arrest, and we hypothesised that the survival of trauma patients who experienced intraoperative cardiac arrest would be worse than nontrauma patients who experienced intraoperative cardiac arrest.


The aim of the present study was to compare the outcomes of trauma and nontrauma patients after intraoperative cardiac arrest.


In a tertiary university hospital and trauma centre, the intraoperative cardiac arrest cases were evaluated from January 2007 to December 2009, excluding patients submitted to cardiac surgery. Data were prospectively collected using the Utstein-style. Outcomes among the patients with trauma were compared to the patients without trauma.


We collected data from 81 consecutive intraoperative cardiac arrest cases: 32 with trauma and 49 without trauma. Patients in the trauma group were younger than the patients in the nontrauma group (44±23 vs. 63±17, p<0.001). Hypovolaemia (63% vs. 35%, p=0.022) and metabolic/hydroelectrolytic disturbances (41% vs. 2%, p<0.001) were more likely to cause the cardiac arrest in the trauma group. The first documented arrest rhythm did not differ between the groups, and pulseless electrical activity was the most prevalent rhythm (66% vs. 53%, p=0.698). The return of spontaneous circulation (47% vs. 63%, p=0.146) and survival to discharge with favourable neurological outcome (16% vs. 14%, p=0.869) did not differ between the two groups.


The outcomes did not differ between patients with trauma and nontrauma intraoperative cardiac arrest.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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