UMEM Educational Pearls

Takeaways

Historically, there has been debate on transporting outside hospital cardiac arrests, as well a trauma, with the question of whether to "scoop and run" or "stay and play". 

Could hasty transportation of cardiac arrest patients put a damper on resuscitation quality? 

A recent propensity-matched study in JAMA analyzed 192 EMS agencies across 10 N American sites.

Methods:

-Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Cardiac Epidemiologic Registry, which counted 43,969 consecutive cases of nontraumatic adult EMS-treated OHCA (median age 67, 37% of whom were women) in 2011-2015.

-25% of these patients were transported to the hospital

-Matched 1:1 with patients in refractory arrest who were resuscitated on scene 

-Primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge, secondary outcome survival to hospital discharge with a favorable neurological status 

 

Results:

-Duration of out-of-hospital resuscitation was only 6 minutes longer in the intra-arrest transport group (29.1 and 22.9 minutes; not a statistically significant difference)

-Survival to hospital discharge was 3.8% for patients who underwent intra-arrest transport and 12.6% for those who received on-scene resuscitation

-In the propensity-matched cohort, which included 27,705 patients, survival to hospital discharge occurred in 4.0% of patients who underwent intra-arrest transport vs 8.5% who received on-scene resuscitation (risk difference, 4.6% [95% CI, 4.0- 5.1])

-Favorable neurological outcome occurred in 2.9% of patients who underwent intra-arrest transport vs 7.1% who received on-scene resuscitation (risk difference, 4.2% [95% CI, 3.5%-4.9%])

-Intra-arrest transport during resuscitation was associated with worse odds of survival to hospital discharge compared to on-scene resuscitation (4% vs 8.5%, RR 0.48, CI 0.43-0.54)

-Findings persisted across subgroups of initial shockable rhythm vs. non-shockable rhythms (most common initial rhythm was aystole), as well as EMS witness arrests vs. unwitnessed arrests 

 

Conclusion:

-This study does not support the routine transportation of patients in cardiac arrest during rescuscitation.

-The neurologically intact survival benefit associated with on-scene resuscitation is both impressive and intriguing.

-However, what implications could this have on ECPR? 

 

Limitations:

-Potential bias due to observational nature of study 

-Duration of resuscitations very similar, unknown exactly how long transport times were or if this was in urban or rural populations

-External validity not generalizable due to heterogeneity of patient populations and EMS systems

-Further randomized clinical trials are required

In-Depth

References

Grunau B, Kime N, Leroux B, et al. Association of Intra-arrest Transport vs Continued On-Scene Resuscitation With Survival to Hospital Discharge Among Patients With Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. JAMA. 2020;324(11):1058–1067. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14185