Cardiac arrest survival rates vary by 71% between hospitals, study finds

A recent study found risk-adjusted survival rates for cardiac arrest can vary as much as 71 percent between two randomly chosen hospitals.

The study, published Dec. 15 in JACC Cardiovascular Interventions, analyzed 4,787 patients from 231 hospitals. The median survival rate was 36 percent, but the rates varied from 20 percent to 52 percent among hospitals in the lowest and highest tertiles, respectively. 

"Even in controlled settings such as the cardiac catheterization laboratory, there is significant hospital-level variation in survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest, which suggests an important opportunity to improve resuscitation outcomes in procedural areas," the researchers concluded.

"Resuscitation frequently relies on an abundance of expertise with a paucity of protocol. The inherent laxity of this scenario entrusts outcomes of in-laboratory cardiac arrest in large part to the talents, creativity, and fallibility of individuals, in turn exposing risk of variability and disparity in survival," Matthew Tomey, MD, cardiologist at the New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in an editorial.

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