To determine survival rates in adult trauma patients requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
We used 1992–2002 trauma registry data to identify all adult trauma patients over the age of 16 who required CPR in the pre-hospital setting or within 24 hours of arriving at the hospital. Demographic information, mechanism of injury, injury severity score (ISS), vital signs at the scene and in the hospital, and mortality were obtained from patient charts. Patients were stratified into 2 groups: those with absent vital signs in the field who required prehospital CPR, and those who lost vital signs within 24 hours of arriving at the trauma suite.
Of 50 eligible patients, 28 (58%) were male and 46 (92%) sustained blunt trauma. Mean age was 44.8 ± 20 years and mean ISS was 38 ± 18. Overall mortality was 96% (48/50), and all patients who required prehospital CPR died. The only 2 survivors were patients who arrived with vital signs and developed pulseless electrical activity while in the trauma suite.
In this consecutive series of trauma victims with cardiopulmonary arrest there were no survivors among those who lost vital signs and required CPR prior to arriving at the hospital.