Background Although prehospital cardiac arrest (CA) remains associated with poor long-term outcome, recent studies show an improvement in the survival rate after prehospital trauma associated CA (TCA). However, data on the long-term neurological outcome of TCA, particularly from physician-staffed Emergency Medical Service (EMS), are scarce, and results reported have been inconsistent. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of patients admitted to several trauma centres after a TCA.
Methods This study is a retrospective database review of all patients from a multicentre prospective registry that experienced a TCA and had undergone successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior their admission at the trauma centre. The primary end point was neurological outcome at 6 months among patients who survived to hospital discharge.
Results 88 victims of TCA underwent successful CPR and were admitted to the hospital, 90% of whom were victims of blunt trauma. Of these 88 patients, 10 patients (11%; CI 95% 6% to 19%) survived to discharge: on discharge, 9 patients displayed a GCS of 15 and Cerebral Performance Categories (CPC) 1–2 and one patient had a GCS 7 and CPC of 3. Hypoxia was the most frequent cause of CA among survivors. 6-month follow-up was achieved for 9 patients of the 10 surviving patients. The 9 patients with a good outcome on hospital discharge had a CPC of 1 or 2 6 months post discharge. All returned to their premorbid family and social settings.
Conclusions Among patients admitted to hospital after successful CPR from TCA, hypoxia as the likely aetiology of arrest carried a more favourable prognosis. Most of the patients successfully resuscitated from TCA and surviving to hospital discharge had a good neurological outcome, suggesting that prehospital resuscitation may not be futile.
- cardiac arrest
- Trauma, majot trauma management
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