Prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation and outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Shahzleen Rajan, Fredrik Folke, Kristian Kragholm, Carolina Malta Hansen, Christopher B. Granger, Steen Møller Hansen, Eric D. Peterson, Freddy K. Lippert, Kathrine B. Søndergaard, Lars Køber, Gunnar H. Gislason, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Mads Wissenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Aim It is unclear whether prolonged resuscitation can result in successful outcome following out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA). We assessed associations between duration of pre-hospital resuscitation on survival and functional outcome following OHCA in patients achieving pre-hospital return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Methods We included 1316 adult OHCA individuals with pre-hospital ROSC (2005–2011) handled by the largest nationwide ambulance provider in Denmark. Patients were stratified into 0–5, 6–10, 11–15, 16–20, 21–25 and >25 min of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by emergency medical services until ROSC was achieved. Nursing home admission and diagnosis of anoxic brain damage were measured as proxies of poor neurological/functional outcomes. Findings Median time from CPR initiation to ROSC was 12 min (IQR: 7–18) while 20.4% achieved ROSC after >25 min. Overall, 37.5% (494) of the study population achieved 30-day survival. Thirty-day survival was inversely related to minutes of CPR to ROSC: ranging from 59.6% (127/213) for ≤5 min to 13.8% (19/138) for >25 min. If bystander initiated CPR before ambulance arrival, corresponding values ranged from 70.4% (107/152) to 21.8% (12/55). Of 30-day survivors, patients discharged to own home rather than nursing home ranged from 95.0% (124/127) to 84.7% (18/19), respectively. Of 30-day survivors, patients discharged without diagnosis of anoxic brain damage ranged from 98.4% (125/127) to 73.7% (14/19) for corresponding intervals. Conclusion Even those requiring prolonged resuscitation duration prior to ROSC had meaningful survival rates with the majority of survivors able to return to live in own homes. These data suggest that prolonged resuscitation is not futile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Epidemiology
  • Prolonged resuscitation
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation and outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this