Background The duration from collapse to initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (no-flow time) is one of the most important determinants of outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Initial shockable cardiac rhythm (ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia) is reported to be a marker of short no-flow time; however, there is conflicting evidence regarding the impact of initial shockable cardiac rhythm on treatment decisions. We investigated the association between initial shockable cardiac rhythm and the no-flow time and evaluated whether initial shockable cardiac rhythm can be a marker of short no-flow time in patients with OHCA.
Methods Patients aged 18 years and older experiencing OHCA between 2010 and 2016 were selected from a nationwide population-based Japanese database. The association between the no-flow time duration and initial shockable cardiac rhythm was evaluated. Diagnostic accuracy was evaluated using the sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value.
Results A total of 177 634 patients were eligible for the analysis. The median age was 77 years (58.3%, men). Initial shockable cardiac rhythm was recorded in 11.8% of the patients. No-flow time duration was significantly associated with lower probability of initial shockable cardiac rhythm, with an adjusted OR of 0.97 (95% CI 0.96 to 0.97) per additional minute. The sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of initial shockable cardiac rhythm to identify a no-flow time of <5 min were 0.12 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.12), 0.88 (95% CI 0.88 to 0.89) and 0.35 (95% CI 0.34 to 0.35), respectively. The positive predictive values were 0.90, 0.95 and 0.99 with no-flow times of 15, 18 and 28 min, respectively.
Conclusions Although there was a significant association between initial shockable cardiac rhythm and no-flow time duration, initial shockable cardiac rhythm was not reliable when solely used as a surrogate of a short no-flow time duration after OHCA.
Data availability statement
Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Registry data are available with permission of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
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Handling editor Lara Nicole Goldstein
Contributors KSh conceptualised and designed the study, drafted the initial manuscript and reviewed and revised the manuscript. KSu, TI and YH contributed to analysis and interpretation of data, revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work. Ksh is the guarantor who accepts full responsibility for the finished work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.
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.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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