• Reducing the futile transportation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests: a retrospective validation

      House, Matthew; Gray, Joanne; McMeekin, Peter (2018-09)
      Abstract published with permission. Objectives: The primary aim was to measure the predictive value of a termination of resuscitation guideline that allows for pre-hospital termination of adult cardiac arrests of presumed cardiac aetiology where the patient did not present in a shockable cardiac rhythm and did not achieve return of spontaneous circulation on-scene. The secondary objective was to compare the effectiveness of that guideline with existing basic life support and advanced life support guidelines. Methods: A retrospective review of 2139 adult out-of-hospital primary cardiac arrest patients transported to hospital by a single ambulance trust during a 12-month period between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015. Results: Application of the new guideline identified 832 for termination, from which three (0.4%) survived, resulting in a specificity of 99.1% (95% CI: 97.4% to 99.8%), PPV of 99.6% (95% CI: 99% to 99.9%), sensitivity of 46.5% (95% CI: 44.1% to 48.8%) and NPV of 25.6% (95% CI: 23.2% to 28.1%). The transport rate was 60.7%, compared to 72.8% for the basic life support guideline and 95.2% for the advanced life support guideline. Conclusions: Within the tested cohort, a reduction of 39.3% in transport of adult out-of-hospital primary cardiac arrest of presumed cardiac aetiology could have been achieved if using a termination of resuscitation guideline that allows for termination on-scene when the patient presented in a non-shockable rhythm and there has been no return of spontaneous circulation. These guidelines require prospective validation, but may identify more futile transportations than other previously validated guidelines.