Cardiac arrest survival in pediatric and general emergency departments

Kenneth A. Michelson*, Joel D. Hudgins, Michael C. Monuteaux, Richard G. Bachur, Jonathan A. Finkelstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has a low rate of survival to hospital discharge. Understanding whether pediatric emergency departments (EDs) have higher survival than general EDs may help identify ways to improve care for all patients with OHCA. We sought to determine if OHCA survival differs between pediatric and general EDs. METHODS: We used the 2009-2014 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample to study children under 18 with cardiac arrest. We compared pediatric EDs (those with >75% pediatric visits) to general EDs on the outcome of survival to hospital discharge or transfer. We determined unadjusted and adjusted survival, accounting for age, region, and injury severity. Analyses were stratified by nontraumatic versus traumatic cause. RESULTS: The incidences of nontraumatic and traumatic OHCA were 7.91 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.52-8.30) and 2.67 (95% CI: 2.49-2.85) per 100 000 person years. In nontraumatic OHCA, unadjusted survival was higher in pediatric EDs than general EDs (33.8% vs 18.9%, P < .001). The adjusted odds ratio of survival in pediatric versus general EDs was 2.2 (95% CI: 1.7-2.8). Children with traumatic OHCA had similar survival in pediatric and general EDs (31.7% vs 26.1%, P = .14; adjusted odds ratio = 1.3 [95% CI: 0.8-2.1]). CONCLUSIONS: In a nationally representative sample, survival from nontraumatic OHCA was higher in pediatric EDs than general EDs. Survival did not differ in traumatic OHCA. Identifying the features of pediatric ED OHCA care leading to higher survival could be translated into improved survival for children nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20172741
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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