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July 11, 1977

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

JAMA. 1977;238(2):128. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280020032011

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To the Editor.—  Vaisrub's editorial (237:898, 1977) emphasizes the vital importance of promptness in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The Medical Audit Committee of St Petersburg General Hospital recently completed an audit of 87 cases of cardiopulmonary resuscitations performed in 1976. Of these, 33 were performed in the emergency room and 54 on inpatients.There is a problem in the definition of survival. In some studies, "survival" is defined as an effective resuscitation, even when the patient remains hospitalized and then dies without ever leaving the hospital. We chose to define the survival rate as "percent leaving the hospital alive." Our patients' survival rate was 4.6% (4/87). Of these, two survivals were in the emergency-room group and two in the inpatient group. The circumstances of these surviving patients were of particular interest.Of the two emergency room survivals, the first patient had a cardiac arrest while being examined by the emergency room physician,