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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