Critical Care Unit Organizational and Personnel Factors Impact Cardiac Arrest Prevention and Rescue in the Pediatric Cardiac Population

Javier J. Lasa, Mousumi Banerjee, Wenying Zhang, David K. Bailly, Jun Sasaki, Rebecca Bertrandt, Tia T. Raymond, Mary K. Olive, Andrew Smith, Jeffrey Alten, Michael Gaies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Patient-level factors related to cardiac arrest in the pediatric cardiac population are well understood but may be unmodifiable. The impact of cardiac ICU organizational and personnel factors on cardiac arrest rates and outcomes remains unknown. We sought to better understand the association between these potentially modifiable organizational and personnel factors on cardiac arrest prevention and rescue. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium registry. SETTING: Pediatric cardiac ICUs. PATIENTS: All cardiac ICU admissions were evaluated for cardiac arrest and survival outcomes. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Successful prevention was defined as the proportion of admissions with no cardiac arrest (inverse of cardiac arrest incidence). Rescue was the proportion of patients surviving to cardiac ICU discharge after cardiac arrest. Cardiac ICU organizational and personnel factors were captured via site questionnaires. The associations between organizational and personnel factors and prevention/rescue were analyzed using Fine-Gray and multinomial regression, respectively, accounting for clustering within hospitals. We analyzed 54,521 cardiac ICU admissions (29 hospitals) with 1,398 cardiac arrest events (2.5%) between August 1, 2014, and March 5, 2019. For both surgical and medical admissions, lower average daily cardiac ICU occupancy was associated with better cardiac arrest prevention. Better rescue for medical admissions was observed for higher registered nursing hours per patient day and lower proportions of "part time" cardiac ICU physician staff (< 6 service weeks/yr). Increased registered nurse experience was associated with better rescue for surgical admissions. Increased proportion of critical care certified nurses, full-time intensivists with critical care fellowship training, dedicated respiratory therapists, quality/safety resources, and annual cardiac ICU admission volume were not associated with improved prevention or rescue. CONCLUSIONS: Our multi-institutional analysis identified cardiac ICU bed occupancy, registered nurse experience, and physician staffing as potentially important factors associated with cardiac arrest prevention and rescue. Recognizing the limitations of measuring these variables cross-sectionally, additional studies are needed to further investigate these organizational and personnel factors, their interrelationships, and how hospitals can modify structure to improve cardiac arrest outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac arrest prevention
  • cardiac arrest rescue
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • organizational factors
  • pediatrics
  • personnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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