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April 22, 1992

Survival After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Author Affiliations

Sunnyvale, Calif

JAMA. 1992;267(16):2186. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480160044023

To the Editor.  —Your interesting report on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by Valenzuela et al1 is lacking in two respects: there is no indication of the ultimate outcome of the "survivors," and there is no mention of the cost of treatment. I believe it is necessary to look at every medical report with an eye to the effects of the therapies described.Previous reports have indicated that less than 10% of patients discharged from hospitals who have suffered a cardiac arrest will be alive at 6-month follow-up. In this report, there were only 22 patients available for such study, and follow-up should have been easy.Furthermore, cost analysis should separate prehospital costs, emergency department and/or resuscitation costs, and costs after hospital admission to determine the cost benefit ratio of treating cardiac arrest. A large amount of volunteer time and money is spent on training nonphysicians in resuscitation measures for cardiac