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Aust Health Rev. 2013 May;37(2):178-84. doi: 10.1071/AH11112.

In-hospital cardiac arrests: effect of amended Australian Resuscitation Council 2006 guidelines.

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Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Qld 4102, Australia.



To evaluate cardiac arrest outcomes following the introduction of the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) 2006 amended guidelines for basic and advanced life support.


A retrospective study of all consecutive cardiac arrests during a 3-year phase pre-implementation (2004-06) and a 3-year phase post-implementation (2007-09) of the ARC 2006 guidelines was conducted at a tertiary referral hospital in Brisbane, Australia.


Over the 6-year study phase 690 cardiac arrests were reported. Resuscitation was attempted in 248 patients pre-implementation and 271 patients post-implementation of the ARC 2006 guidelines. After adjusting for significant prognostic factors we found no significant change in return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) (odds ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 0.80-1.85, P=0.37) or survival to discharge (odds ratio 1.49, 95% confidence interval 0.94-2.37, P=0.09) after the implementation of the ARC 2006 guidelines. Factors that remained significant in the final model for both outcomes included having an initial shockable rhythm, a shorter length of time from collapse to arrival of cardiac arrest team, location of the patient in a critical-care area, shorter length of resuscitation and a day-time arrest (0700-2259 hours). In addition the arrest being witnessed was significant for ROSC and younger age was significant for survival to discharge.


There are multiple factors that influence clinical outcomes following an in-hospital cardiac arrest and further research to refine these significant variables will assist in the future management of cardiac arrests. WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT THIS TOPIC? The evaluation of outcomes from in-hospital cardiac arrests focuses on immediate survival expressed as ROSC and survival to hospital discharge. These clinical outcomes have not improved substantially over the last two decades. WHAT DOES THIS PAPER ADD? This paper identifies the factors that are related to ROSC and survival to discharge following the implementation of the ARC 2006 guidelines, which included a refocus on providing quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation with minimal interruptions. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTITIONERS? Given that multiple factors can influence clinical outcomes following an in-hospital cardiac arrest, focusing on maximising a range of factors surrounding cardiopulmonary resuscitation is essential to improve outcomes.

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