Cardiac arrest is classified as ‘in-hospital’ if it occurs in a hospitalised patient who had a pulse at the time of admission. A probability of patient’s survival until hospital discharge is very low. The reasons for this are old age, multiple co-morbidity of patients, late recognition of cardiac arrest, poor knowledge about basic life support algorithm, insufficient equipment, absence of qualified resuscitation teams (RTs) and poor organization.
The aim of this study was to demonstrate characteristics of in-hospital cardiac arrests and resuscitation measures in University Hospital Osijek. We analysed retrospectively all resuscitation procedures data where anaesthesiology RTs provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during 5-year period.
We analysed 309 in-hospital resuscitation attempts with complete documentation. Victims of cardiac arrest were principally elderly patients, neurological (30.4 %), surgical (25.24 %) and neurosurgical patients (15.2 %) with many associated severe diseases. In 85.6 % of the cases, resuscitation was initiated by ward personnel and RTs arrived within 5 min in 67 % of the cases. However, in 14.6 % of the cases resuscitation measures had not been started before RT arrival. We found statistical correlation between lower initial survival rates and length of hospital stay (p = 0.001), presence of cerebral ischemia (p = 0.026) or cardiomyopathy (p = 0.004) and duration of CPR (p = 0.041). Initial survival was very low (14.6 %), and full recovery was accomplished in only eight patients out of 309 (2.59 %).
Identification of terminal chronic patients in which the CPR is not reasonable, a better organisation and ward personnel education can contribute to better overall success.