[Skip to Navigation]
June 26, 1995

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Intensive Care Unit and Non—Intensive Care Unit Patients: Immediate and Long-term Survival

Author Affiliations

From the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, New Jersey School of Medicine, and University Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark.

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(12):1277-1280. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430120054007

Objective:  To determine the effect of location within the hospital and preexisting electrocardiographic rhythm on the outcome of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the cardiopulmonary resuscitation records for a 3-year period, including 668 hospitalized patients, were retrospectively reviewed.

Results:  Resuscitation was successful in only 12 patients in the intensive care unit (3.3%) and 43 patients not in the intensive care unit (14.0%), 20 of whom were on a telemetry unit. Patients who survived to discharge had similar 1-year survival rates regardless of initial hospital location, although intensive care unit patients had the best 3-year survival rate, and there were no survivors at 3 years in the group that received cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the nonmonitored hospital bed. Survival was best with an initial cardiac rhythm of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, but all non-ventricular tachyarrhythmias were associated with survival. Age was not an apparent factor, while survival to hospital discharge favored whites over blacks.

Conclusions:  Futile resuscitative efforts are routinely performed in part because physicians and patients are unaware of outcome results and factors that influence survival. A wider recognition of the limitations of cardiopulmonary resuscitation should lead to advanced directives that reflect this awareness, with substantially more patients choosing not to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation.(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:1277-1280)