• Vol. 49 No. 5, 285–293
  • 01 May 2020

Nation-Wide Observational Study of Cardiac Arrests Occurring in Nursing Homes and Nursing Facilities in Singapore



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Introduction: Nursing home (NH) residents with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) have unique resuscitation priorities. This study aimed to describe OHCA characteristics in NH residents and identify independent predictors of survival. Materials and Methods: OHCA cases between 2010–16 in the Pan-Asian Resuscitation Outcomes Study were retrospectively analysed. Patients aged <18 years old and non-emergency cases were excluded. Primary outcome was survival at discharge or 30 days. Good neurological outcome was defined as a cerebral performance score between 1–2. Results: A total of 12,112 cases were included. Of these, 449 (3.7%) were NH residents who were older (median age 79 years, range 69–87 years) and more likely to have a history of stroke, heart and respiratory diseases. Fewer NH OHCA had presumed cardiac aetiology (62% vs 70%, P <0.01) and initial shockable rhythm (8.9% vs 18%, P <0.01), but had higher incidence of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (74% vs 43%, P <0.01) and defibrillator use (8.5% vs 2.8%, P <0.01). Non-NH (2.8%) residents had better neurological outcomes than NH (0.9%) residents (P <0.05). Factors associated with survival for cardiac aetiology included age <65 years old, witnessed arrest, bystander defibrillator use and initial shockable rhythm; for non-cardiac aetiology, these included witnessed arrest (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.8, P <0.001) and initial shockable rhythm (AOR 5.7, P <0.001). Conclusion: Neurological outcomes were poorer in NH survivors of OHCA. These findings should inform health policies on termination of resuscitation, advance care directives and do-not-resuscitate orders in this population.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a significant public health problem in Singapore and from around the world. Between 2010–12, local OHCA patients with a witnessed arrest and shockable rhythm had a survival-to-hospital discharge rate of 11.0%. Treatment of OHCA patients is resource-intensive since it requires invasive interventions and potentially prolonged intensive care unit stays.

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