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Functional outcomes and quality of life of young adults who survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  1. Conor Deasy1,2,3,
  2. Janet Bray1,
  3. Karen Smith1,2,
  4. Linton Harriss2,
  5. Stephen Bernard1,2,3,
  6. Peter Cameron2,3,
  7. on behalf of the VACAR Steering Committee
  1. 1Research and Strategy, Ambulance Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Conor Deasy, Monash University, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Level 5 Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3004, Australia; conordeasy{at}


Background Evaluating the quality of life of young adult survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is important as they are likely to have a longer life expectancy than older patients. The aim of this study was to assess their functional and quality of life outcomes.

Methodology The Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry records were used to identify survivors of OHCA that occurred between 2003 and 2008 in the 18-39 year-old age group. Survivors were administered a telephone questionnaire using Short Form (SF-12), EQ-5D and Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended. Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) ascertained at hospital discharge from the medical record was recorded for the uncontactable survivors.

Results Of the 106 young adult survivors, five died in the intervening years and 45 were not contactable or refused. CPC scores were obtained for 37 (74%) of those who did not take part in telephone follow-up, and 7 (19%) of these had a CPC ≥3 indicating severe cerebral disability. The median follow-up time was 5 years (range 2.7- 8.6 years) for the 56 (53%) patients included. Of these, 84% were living at home independently, 68% had returned to work, and only 11% reported marked or severe disability. The majority of patients had no problems with mobility (75%), personal care (75%), usual activities (66%) or pain/discomfort (71%). However, 61% of respondents reported either moderate (48%) or severe (13%) anxiety.

Conclusions The majority of survivors have good functional and quality of life outcomes. Telephone follow-up is feasible in the young adult survivors of cardiac arrest; loss to follow-up is common.

  • Cardiac arrest
  • resuscitation
  • quality of life
  • outcomes
  • EMS

Statistics from


  • Funding Dr C Deasy was supported by a Monash University overseas PhD student scholarship during this project.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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