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Meta-analysis of the accuracy of termination of resuscitation rules for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  1. Mark H Ebell1,
  2. Akke Vellinga2,
  3. Siobhan Masterson2,
  4. Phillip Yun3
  1. 1 Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA
  2. 2 Department of General Practice, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, Ireland
  3. 3 Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Mark H Ebell, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA; ebell{at}uga.edu

Abstract

Background Our objective was to perform a systematic review of studies reporting the accuracy of termination of resuscitation rules (TORRs) for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Methods We performed a comprehensive search of the literature for studies evaluating the accuracy of TORRs, with two investigators abstracting relevant data from each study regarding study design, study quality and the accuracy of the TORRs. Bivariate meta-analysis was performed using the mada procedure in R.

Results We identified 14 studies reporting the performance of 9 separate TORRs. The sensitivity (proportion of eventual survivors for whom the TORR recommends resuscitation and transport) was generally high: 95% for the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) TORR, 97% for the basic life support (BLS) TORR and 99% for the advanced life support (ALS) TORR. The BLS and ERC TORR were more specific, which would lead to fewer futile transports, and all three of these TORRs had a miss rate of ≤0.13% (defined as a case where a patient is recommended for termination but survives). The pooled proportion of patients for whom each rule recommends TOR was much higher for the ERC and BLS TORRs (93.5% and 74.8%, respectively) than for the ALS TORR (29.0%).

Conclusions The BLS and ERC TORRs identify a large proportion of patients who are candidates for termination of resuscitation following OHCA while having a very low rate of misclassifying eventual survivors (<0.1%). Further prospective validation of the ERC TORR and direct comparison with BLS TORR are needed.

  • resuscitation
  • cardiac arrest
  • emergency ambulance systems
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Footnotes

  • Contributors MHE: conceived the study; performed the analysis and wrote the first draft; takes responsibility for the paper as a whole. MHE and PY: performed the literature search. MHE, AV, SM and PY: all reviewed the studies for inclusion and abstracted all data in tandem. All authors: reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Data sharing statement Original data are available in supplementary appendix B.

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