Association between shockable rhythms and long-term outcome after pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Rotterdam, the Netherlands: An 18-year observational study

M. Albrecht, R. C.J. de Jonge, V. M. Nadkarni, M. de Hoog, M. Hunfeld, J. A.E. Kammeraad, L. van Zellem, X. R.J. Moors, L. van Zellem, C. M.P. Buysse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: Shockable rhythm following pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (pOHCA) is consistently associated with hospital and short-term survival. Little is known about the relationship between shockable rhythm and long-term outcomes (>1 year) after pOHCA. The aim was to investigate the association between first documented rhythm and long-term outcomes in a pOHCA cohort over 18 years. Methods: All children aged 1 day–18 years who experienced non-traumatic pOHCA between 2002–2019 and were subsequently admitted to the emergency department (ED) or pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital were included. Data was abstracted retrospectively from patient files, (ground) ambulance and Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) records, and follow-up clinics. Long-term outcome was determined using a Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) score at the longest available follow-up interval through august 2020. The primary outcome measure was survival with favorable neurologic outcome, defined as PCPC 1–2 or no difference between pre- and post-arrest PCPC. The association between first documented rhythm and the primary outcome was calculated in a multivariable regression model. Results: 369 children were admitted, nine children were lost to follow-up. Median age at arrest was age 3.4 (IQR 0.8–9.9) years, 63% were male and 14% had a shockable rhythm (66% non-shockable, 20% unknown or return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) before emergency medical service (EMS) arrival). In adolescents (aged 12–18 years), 39% had shockable rhythm. 142 (39%) of children survived to hospital discharge. On median follow-up interval of 25 months (IQR 5.1–49.6), 115/142 (81%) of hospital survivors had favorable neurologic outcome. In multivariable analysis, shockable rhythm was associated with survival with favorable long-term neurologic outcome (OR 8.9 [95%CI 3.1–25.9]). Conclusion: In children with pOHCA admitted to ED or PICU shockable rhythm had significantly higher odds of survival with long-term favorable neurologic outcome compared to non-shockable rhythm. Survival to hospital discharge after pOHCA was 39% over the 18-year study period. Of survivors to discharge, 81% had favorable long-term (median 25 months, IQR 5.1–49.6) neurologic outcome. Efforts for improving outcome of pOHCA should focus on early recognition and treatment of shockable pOHCA at scene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


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