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Resuscitation. 2007 Oct;75(1):29-34. Epub 2007 Apr 8.

Outcome from paediatric cardiac arrest associated with trauma.

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London Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, Royal London Hospital, London E1 1BB, UK.



To examine survival rates for paediatric trauma patients requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the pre-hospital setting, and to identify characteristics that may be associated with survival.


Ten-year retrospective trauma database review.


An urban physician-led pre-hospital trauma service serving a population of approximately 7.5 million, in the United Kingdom.


Eighty paediatric trauma patients (15 years or less) who received pre-hospital resuscitation following cardiorespiratory arrest between July 1994 and June 2004.


Pre-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


Survival to hospital discharge.


Eighty children met inclusion criteria for the study. Nineteen (23.8%) were discharged alive from the emergency department and seven children (8.75%) survived to hospital discharge. Of the seven survivors, one had spinal cord injury. Two suffered asphyxial injury associated with blunt trauma and three sustained hypoxic insults following drowning or burns/smoke inhalation. In one patient with known congenital cardiac disease the cause of cardiac arrest was likely to have been medical.


This study confirms the poor outcome for children requiring pre-hospital CPR following trauma. However, the results are better in this physician-attended group than in other studies where physicians were not present. They also suggest that cardiac arrest associated with trauma in children has a better outcome than in adults. In common with adults treated in this system, those patients with hypovolaemic cardiac arrest did not survive (Ann Emerg Med 2006;48:240-4). A large proportion of the survivors suffered hypoxic or asphyxial injuries. Targeted aggressive out-of-hospital resuscitation in certain patient groups can produce good outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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