• Vol. 27 No. 3, 323–325
  • 15 May 1998

Survival after Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in the General Wards—The Results of a Dedicated “Code” Team



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We describe our experience with a dedicated cardiopulmonary resuscitation team over 13 months for adults out-of-intensive care unit cardiopulmonary arrests. There were 137 recorded arrests with the majority (69%) happening “out-of-office-hours”. The ages of patients ranged from 27 to 95 years, with 42% of patients ≥70 years old. Spontaneous circulation was established in 38% with transfers to the intensive care unit. However, only 27% of these patients eventually survived to hospital discharge. Thus, there was an overall 10% hospital survival for all adult arrests in the general wards. Those that had return of spontaneous circulation were significantly younger than the non-survivors. Patients less than 70 years old had a higher hospital survival rate than those ≥70 years old (16.5% vs 8.6%, χ2 ~0.0001).

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is widely practised for cardiopulmonary arrests with variable success. The initial intention was to defibrillate patients with ventricular fibrillation after acute myocardial infarction, to save those with “hearts too good to die”.

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