Racial disparities in survival outcomes following pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest

Sarah E. Haskell, Saket Girotra, Yunshu Zhou, M. Bridget Zimmerman, Marina Del Rios, Raina M. Merchant, Dianne L. Atkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Among adults with in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA), overall survival is lower in black patients compared to white patients. Data regarding racial differences in survival for pediatric IHCA are unknown. Methods: Using 2000–2017 data from the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation® registry, we identified children >24 h and <18 years of age with IHCA due to an initial pulseless rhythm. We used generalized estimation equation to examine the association of black race with survival to hospital discharge, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), and favorable neurologic outcome at discharge. Results: Overall, 2940 pediatric patients (898 black, 2042 white) at 224 hospitals with IHCA were included. The mean age was 3.0 years, 57% were male and 16% had an initial shockable rhythm. Age, sex, interventions in place at the time of arrest and cardiac arrest characteristics did not differ significantly by race. The overall survival to discharge was 36.9%, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was 73%, and favorable neurologic survival was 20.8%. Although black race was associated with lower rates of ROSC compared to white patients (69.5% in blacks vs. 74.6% in whites; risk-adjusted OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.67−0.94, P = 0.016), black race was not associated with survival to discharge (34.7% in blacks vs. 37.8% in whites; risk-adjusted OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.80–1.15, P = 0.68) or favorable neurologic outcome (18.7% in blacks vs. 21.8% in whites, risk-adjusted OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.80–1.20, p = 0.85). Conclusions: In contrast to adults, we did not find evidence for racial differences in survival outcomes following IHCA among children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Outcomes
  • Pediatrics
  • Racial disparities
  • Resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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