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Resuscitation. 2003 Aug;58(2):131-8.

The epidemiology of cardiac arrest in children and young adults.

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1
Division of Cardiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, S-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden.

Abstract

AIM:

To describe the epidemiology of children and young adults suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

PATIENTS:

All patients suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in whom, resuscitation efforts were attempted in the community of Göteborg between 1980 and 2000.

METHODS:

Between 31 October 1980 and 31 October 2000, all consecutive cases of cardiac arrest in which the emergency medical service (EMS) system responded and attempted resuscitation were reported and followed-up to discharge from hospital.

RESULTS:

Among 5505 cardiac arrests information on age was available in 5290 cases (96%). Of these 5290 cases 98 (2%) were children (age 0-17 years), 197 (4%) were young adults (age 18-35 years) and the remaining 4995 (94%) were adults (age >35 years). Children and young adults differed from adults by suffering from a witnessed arrest less frequently, being found by the ambulance crew in ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia less frequently and being judged as having an underlying cardiac aetiology less frequently. Of the children only 5% were discharged from hospital alive compared with 8% for young adults and 9% for adults. Among survivors the cerebral performance categories (CPC) score at discharge tended to differ with 38% of young adults registering a CPC score of 1 (no neurological deficit) compared with 52% among adults.

CONCLUSION:

Children and young adults suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest differed from adults in terms of aetiology and observed initial arrhythmia. Children had a particularly bad outcome whereas young adults had a similar outcome as adults.

PMID:
12909374
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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