Holm A, Jerkeman M, Sultanian P, Lundgren P, Ravn-Fischer A, Israelsson J, Giesecke J, Herlitz J, Rawshani A
BMJ Open 11 (11) e054943 [2021-11-30; online 2021-11-30]
We studied characteristics, survival, causes of cardiac arrest, conditions preceding cardiac arrest, predictors of survival and trends in the prevalence of COVID-19 among in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) cases. Registry-based observational study. We studied all cases (≥18 years of age) of IHCA receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the Swedish Registry for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation during 15 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. A total of 1613 patients were included and divided into the following groups: ongoing infection (COVID-19+; n=182), no infection (COVID-19-; n=1062) and unknown/not assessed (n=369). We studied monthly trends in proportions of COVID-19 associated IHCAs, causes of IHCA in relation to COVID-19 status, clinical conditions preceding the cardiac arrest and predictors of survival. The rate of COVID-19+ patients suffering an IHCA increased to 23% during the first pandemic wave (April), then abated to 3% in July, and then increased to 19% during the second wave (December). Among COVID-19+ cases, 43% had respiratory insufficiency or infection as the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest, compared with 18% among COVID-19- cases. The most common clinical sign preceding cardiac arrest was hypoxia (57%) among COVID-19+ cases. OR for 30-day survival for COVID-19+ cases was 0.50 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.76), compared with COVID-19- cases. During pandemic peaks, up to one-fourth of all IHCAs are complicated by COVID-19, and these patients have halved chance of survival, with women displaying the worst outcomes.