Long-term survival after successful inhospital cardiac arrest resuscitation

Heather L. Bloom, Irfan Shukrullah, Jose R. Cuellar, Michael S. Lloyd, Samuel C. Dudley, A. Maziar Zafari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about long-term outcomes of patients who survive inhospital cardiac arrest. Methods: We examined long-term survival after inhospital cardiac arrest and whether procedural changes that improved survival to discharge impacted long-term survival. Consecutive inhospital arrests in the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Atlanta, GA) from 1995 to 2004 (n = 732) were retrospectively analyzed. Data regarding the arrest was obtained, including age, left ventricular ejection fraction, medications, and comorbidities, presenting rhythm, location of arrest, code duration, and outcomes. Long-term mortality data was obtained based on chart and Social Security Death Index reviews. Further data was gathered on internal cardioverter-defibrillator presence and use in survivors. Results: Overall, 49 subjects (6.6%) survived to discharge. Univariate analysis found that ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation and the use of β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and antiarrhythmics at the time of arrest were associated with increased survival, whereas advancing age and comorbidities were associated with a higher risk of mortality. Multivariate analysis determined that age, rhythm, and comorbidities independently affected survival. Implementation of a resuscitation program previously documented to improve survival to discharge did not translate to durable long-term survival. Three-year survival rate after discharge was only 41%. Alternatively, subjects with internal cardioverter-defibrillator showed a 36% improvement in 3-year survival rate to 77% (P = .001). Conclusions: Subjects with inhospital cardiac arrest have poor long-term prognoses. A strategy that improved inhospital survival did not alter long-term mortality rate. Thus, survival to discharge may not be a sufficient end point for future resuscitation trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

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