Cardiac arrests of hospital staff and visitors: Experience from the national registry of cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Author Department

Emergency Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



AIM OF THE STUDY: Approximately 750,000 in-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. Many will occur to visitors or staff members within the hospital's public areas. We sought to provide a descriptive analysis of visitor cardiac arrests in hospitals and to compare survival outcomes to matching inpatient arrests. METHODS: We queried the National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (NRCPR)) for all adult cardiac arrests from January 2000 to May 2006 that occurred to visitors or employees anywhere within the hospital. Visitors were matched to inpatient cardiac arrests from within the same NRCPR database for age, gender, race, prior residence and functional status, and presenting rhythms. The compared outcomes were return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival to 24h (S24), and survival to discharge (SHD). RESULTS: 147 visitors suffered a cardiac arrest during the study period. S24 (48% vs. 37%, p=0.011) and SHD (42% vs. 24%, p<0.0001) were both higher in the visitor cohort. However, ROSC did not significantly differ between visitors and controls (57% vs. 51%). Visitor cardiac arrests occurred in a wide variety of locations. CONCLUSION: Cardiac arrest among hospital visitors is a relatively common event. The survival outcomes of hospital visitors compared unfavorably to that of recently published experience with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims.

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