Adherence to advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) guidelines during in-hospital cardiac arrest is associated with improved outcomes
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AIM OF THE STUDY: Identifying modifiable factors associated with survival following in-hospital cardiac arrest is crucial. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which adherence to the 2010 American Heart Association (AHA) Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines in their entirety affects patient outcomes. In addition, we explored the role of code leader training level on patient outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of records for cardiac arrests that occurred on hospital wards and were run by the hospital code team, at three tertiary care centres over 2 to 4 years. Deviations from the ACLS guidelines were quantified using a standardized checklist. Primary outcomes included return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to hospital discharge. RESULTS: Of 160 resuscitation events, ROSC was achieved in 75 events (46.9%) and survival to hospital discharge in 20 patients (13.1%). On average, there were 2.3 deviations from ACLS guidelines during events that led to ROSC and 3.9 deviations during events that did not lead to ROSC (p < 0.0001). There were fewer deviations during events that led to survival to hospital discharge (2.1) compared to those where the patient did not survive to hospital discharge (3.1; p = 0.016). Code leader training level was not associated with patient outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression analysis confirmed an association between deviations from ACLS guidelines and ROSC, but not for survival to hospital discharge. The latter finding may reflect a very low survival rate. CONCLUSION: We found that higher numbers of deviations from ACLS guidelines were associated with a lower likelihood of ROSC and survival to hospital discharge. These findings emphasize the importance of adherence to ACLS guidelines and the need for training healthcare personnel in resuscitation guidelines in order to improve outcomes for victims of in-hospital cardiac arrest.
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