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Resuscitation. 1995 Feb;29(1):33-9.

Evaluation of outcome following cardiac arrest in patients presenting to two Scottish emergency departments.

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Accident and Emergency Department, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, UK.



To compare and contrast outcomes following cardiac arrest managed in two Accident and Emergency departments, and to identify factors which might account for such differences.


Prospective 1-year evaluation of patients sustaining an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.


The Accident and Emergency departments of the Edinburgh (ERI) and Glasgow (GRI) Royal Infirmaries which serve two large urban municipalities.


All patients sustaining a prehospital cardiac arrest and brought to ERI or GRI were included. Children (< 13 years), those declared dead on arrival at the scene, and events related to poisoning, near drowning, trauma and pregnancy were excluded.


There were 297 prehospital arrests from ERI, and 158 from GRI. Eighty-two (27.6%) were admitted as 'in-patients' to ERI and 23 (14.6%) to GRI (P < 0.01). Thirty-nine (13.1%) survived to hospital discharge from ERI; 13 (8.2%) survived to discharge from GRI (NS). The proportion of VF/VT:Asystole observed was significantly different between the two centres--162:98 from ERI, 54:73 from GRI (P < 0.001). Significantly more prehospital arrests were witnessed and received bystander CPR in those brought to ERI (P < 0.02). For the combined VF/VT/Asystole groups the ERI ambulance response times were significantly shorter (P < 0.01). However, there was no significant difference in the collapse to EMS arrival at the scene times between ERI and GRI. Two survivors from ERI had asystole as their initial observed rhythm. From GRI, one survivor had asystole, one had electromechanical dissociation and in another the initial rhythm was unknown. No survivor to discharge had severe neurological disability.


Patients suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Edinburgh have a significantly better chance of being admitted to a ward. There is a trend favouring better survival to discharge in Edinburgh, but with the numbers investigated this does not achieve statistical significance. Amongst those factors which contribute to survival there are fewer witnessed arrests, less bystander CPR and slower ambulance response times in those brought to GRI. There is a need to investigate the environment in which patients collapse, to train the public in CPR, and to review the efficiency and resourcing of the ambulance service.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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