Duration of Resuscitation Efforts and Survival After in-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

This study demonstrates that clinical practice still varies greatly concerning the most beneficial duration of resuscitation efforts after in-hospital cardiac arrest.

Using the Get With The Guidelines—Resuscitation registry, this study including 64,339 patients with cardiac arrests in 435 U.S. hospitals. The two outcomes examined were: 1) return of spontaneous circulation during cardiac arrest, and 2) survival to hospital discharge. Regression models were used to assess the length of resuscitation attempts and the risk-adjusted survival. The median duration of resuscitation before termination of efforts in non-survivors was used to assess the hospital’s overall tendency for longer resuscitation attempts.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly half of all patients (48.5%) had return of spontaneous circulation and 15.4 percent survived to discharge
  • The median duration of resuscitation was 12 minutes for patients with return of spontaneous circulation. The median resuscitation duration was 20 minutes for non-survivors.
  • Hospitals in the quartile with the longest resuscitation attempts were more likely to have their patients experience return of spontaneous circulation and survival to discharge, than hospitals in the quartile with the shortest median resuscitation attempts in non-survivor patients.

By examining variation of resuscitation attempts duration and the survival rates, this observational study shows that efforts to systematically increase resuscitation duration could improve survival among those experiencing in-hospital cardiac arrest.