Continuous Quality Improvement Efforts Increase Survival with Favorable Neurologic Outcome after Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest

Karl Sporer, Michael Jacobs, Leo Derevin, Sue Duval, James Pointer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess system-wide implementation of specific therapies focused on perfusion during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and cerebral recovery after Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC). Methods: Before and after retrospective analysis of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest database. Implementation trial in the urban/suburban community of Alameda County, California, USA, population 1.6 million, from November 2009–December 2012. Adult patients with non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) who received CPR and/or defibrillation. The impedance threshold device was used throughout this study and there was an increased use of mechanical CPR (mCPR) and in-hospital therapeutic hypothermia (HTH). Results: Rates of ROSC, survival to hospital discharge and Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) scores were compared using univariate and multivariable analyses. A total of 2,926 adult non-traumatic patients with OHCA received CPR during the study period. From 2009–2011 to 2012, there was an increase in ROSC from 29.0% to 34.4% (p = 0.003) and a non-significant increase in hospital discharge from 10.2% to 12.0% (p = 0.16). There was a 76% relative increase in survival with favorable neurologic function between the two periods, as determined by CPC ≤ 2, from 4.5% to 7.9% (unadjusted OR = 1.80; CI = 1.31, 2.48; p < 0.001). After adjusting for witnessed arrest, bystander CPR, initial rhythm (VT/VF vs. others), placement of an advanced airway, EMS response time, drugs administered, and age, the OR was 1.61 (1.10, 2.36; p = 0.015). Using a stepwise multivariable logistic regression model, the independent predictors of CPC ≤ 2 were 2012 (vs. 2009–2011; p = 0.022), witnessed arrest (p < 0.001), initial rhythm VT/VF (p < 0.001), and advanced airway (inverse association p < 0.001). Additional analyses of the three prescribed therapies, separately and in combination, demonstrated that for those patients admitted to the hospital, mCPR with HTH had the biggest impact on survival to hospital discharge with CPC ≤ 2. Conclusions: Specific therapies within a system of care (mCPR, HTH), developed to enhance circulation during CPR and cerebral recovery after ROSC, significantly improved survival by 74% with favorable neurologic function following OHCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • emergency Service; hospital/statistics & numerical data; out-of-hospital cardiac arrest/complications; out-of-hospital cardiac arrest/therapy; hypothermia; induced/methods; ventricular fibrillation/etiology; out-of-hospital cardiac arrest/mortality


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