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Resuscitation. 2012 Nov;83(11):1358-62. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.03.033. Epub 2012 Apr 7.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest outcomes stratified by rhythm analysis.

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Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, MA 01199, USA.



Survival data for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) victims initially in PEA or asystole who convert to a shockable rhythm during attempted resuscitation, relative to an initial shockable rhythm, have never been previously reported. This study was done to assess OHCA outcomes among a large cohort of adults in the CARES dataset stratified by three rhythm categories: initial shockable (IS), converted shockable (CS), and never shockable (NS).


The study was IRB approved. All adult index events at participating sites (2005-2010) were study eligible. All patient data elements were provided. Odds ratios of CS and NS status for survival to hospital discharge were calculated via multivariate logistic regression that adjusted for demographics, site, resuscitation initiators, AED use, and other covariates.


There were 40,274 OHCA records submitted to the CARES registry during the study period. After exclusions, our final sample size was 30,939 (7404 IS [23.9%], 3225 CS [10.4%], 20,310 NS [65.7%]). Raw survival rates of CS and NS patients were similar (4.7% vs. 4.1%, respectively; p=0.08) but significantly lower than IS patients (26.9%; p<0.001). The adjusted OR of survival to hospital discharge for CS was 0.17 (95% CI: 0.14, 0.20) and for NS it was 0.17 (95% CI: 0.15, 0.18) with IS as the referent.


After OHCA, the survival rate for CS victims is significantly lower than for IS patients. These findings suggest that CS and IS are different entities and that alternatives to existing resuscitation algorithm tailored to patients with CS should be investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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