Is transport to hospital during adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest resuscitation compared with continued on-scene treatment associated with a difference in survival to hospital discharge?
In this cohort study that used a time-dependent propensity score–matched analysis including 27 705 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, intra-arrest transport compared with continued on-scene resuscitation had a probability of survival to hospital discharge of 4.0% vs 8.5%, a difference that was statistically significant.
These results do not support the practice of routinely transporting patients during resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to the hospital.
There is wide variability among emergency medical systems (EMS) with respect to transport to hospital during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) resuscitative efforts. The benefit of intra-arrest transport during resuscitation compared with continued on-scene resuscitation is unclear.
To determine whether intra-arrest transport compared with continued on-scene resuscitation is associated with survival to hospital discharge among patients experiencing OHCA.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cohort study of prospectively collected consecutive nontraumatic adult EMS-treated OHCA data from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Cardiac Epidemiologic Registry (enrollment, April 2011-June 2015 from 10 North American sites; follow-up until the date of hospital discharge or death [regardless of when either event occurred]). Patients treated with intra-arrest transport (exposed) were matched with patients in refractory arrest (at risk of intra-arrest transport) at that same time (unexposed), using a time-dependent propensity score. Subgroups categorized by initial cardiac rhythm and EMS-witnessed cardiac arrests were analyzed.
Intra-arrest transport (transport initiated prior to return of spontaneous circulation), compared with continued on-scene resuscitation.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge, and the secondary outcome was survival with favorable neurological outcome (modified Rankin scale <3) at hospital discharge.
The full cohort included 43 969 patients with a median age of 67 years (interquartile range, 55-80), 37% were women, 86% of cardiac arrests occurred in a private location, 49% were bystander- or EMS-witnessed, 22% had initial shockable rhythms, 97% were treated by out-of-hospital advanced life support, and 26% underwent intra-arrest transport. Survival to hospital discharge was 3.8% for patients who underwent intra-arrest transport and 12.6% for those who received on-scene resuscitation. In the propensity-matched cohort, which included 27 705 patients, survival to hospital discharge occurred in 4.0% of patients who underwent intra-arrest transport vs 8.5% who received on-scene resuscitation (risk difference, 4.6% [95% CI, 4.0%- 5.1%]). Favorable neurological outcome occurred in 2.9% of patients who underwent intra-arrest transport vs 7.1% who received on-scene resuscitation (risk difference, 4.2% [95% CI, 3.5%-4.9%]). Subgroups of initial shockable and nonshockable rhythms as well as EMS-witnessed and unwitnessed cardiac arrests all had a significant association between intra-arrest transport and lower probability of survival to hospital discharge.
Conclusions and Relevance
Among patients experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, intra-arrest transport to hospital compared with continued on-scene resuscitation was associated with lower probability of survival to hospital discharge. Study findings are limited by potential confounding due to observational design.
Grunau B, Kime N, Leroux B, et al. Association of Intra-arrest Transport vs Continued On-Scene Resuscitation With Survival to Hospital Discharge Among Patients With Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. JAMA. 2020;324(11):1058–1067. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14185
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