More than 200,000 people are treated for cardiac arrest in United States hospitals each year, a rate that may be on the rise. The findings are reported online in Critical Care Medicine in a University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine-led study.
Though cardiac arrest is known to be a chief contributor to in-hospital deaths, no uniform reporting requirements exist across the nation, leaving experts previously unable to calculate its true incidence and study trends in cardiac arrest mortality and best practices in resuscitation care.
While some of these events occur among terminally ill patients, the authors suggest that many of the cardiac arrests they catalogued may be preventable through better monitoring of patients, quicker response time to administer CPR and defibrillation, and improved adherence to best practices in resuscitation guidelines. Patients who suffer in-hospital cardiac arrests are more than twice as likely to survive than those who arrest in public settings — 21 percent survive to go home, compared to less than 10 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients — but both areas suggest opportunities to improve and standardize care.