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Out-of-hospital arrests attending an Australian tertiary paediatric emergency department over 13 years: An observational study

Journal title
Emergency medicine Australasia : EMA
Publication year
Day, E.; Hort, J. R.

OBJECTIVE: In paediatric cardiopulmonary arrest, International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) states, ‘there are no simple guidelines to determine when resuscitative efforts become futile’. Considerations to assist this decision-making include cause of arrest, pre-existing medical conditions, age, site of arrest, duration of untreated cardiopulmonary arrest, witnessed arrest and presence of shockable rhythm. Outcomes are poor in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA), particularly for infants. This single-centre observational study describes the characteristics and outcomes of the subgroup of children presenting to our hospital’s ED following OHCA still receiving cardiac compressions, to assist development of guidelines for future resuscitation efforts in our ED, particularly for cessation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). METHODS: The ED database was searched for children presenting in cardiopulmonary arrest receiving cardiac compressions. Data were reviewed on pre-hospital, ED and hospital management and outcome, particularly looking at considerations outlined by ILCOR. RESULTS: From January 2000 to December 2013, 60 children were identified: median age 1.71 years; 87% arresting at home; 68% with bystander CPR; median CPR duration pre-hospital 42 min, and in ED 19.5 min; total CPR median 61 min. Fifty patients (83%) died in ED, 10 (17%) were admitted to intensive care but all died within 4 days. CONCLUSION: Children presenting to ED still receiving cardiac compressions following OHCA had a universally poor outcome, regardless of age and underlying cause. This implies resuscitative efforts could be discontinued earlier in this subgroup. A national, multicentre study is needed to determine if this finding is reproducible with a larger population.

Research abstracts