Advanced cardiovascular life support guidelines exist, yet there are variations in clinical practice. Our study aims to describe the utilization of medications during resuscitation from in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest. A retrospective review of patients who suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest from May 2008 to June 2014 was performed. Clinical and resuscitation data, including timing and dose of medications used, were extracted from the electronic medical record and comparisons made. A total of 94 patients were included in the study. Patients were divided into different groups based on the medication combination used during resuscitation: (1) epinephrine; (2) epinephrine and bicarbonate; (3) epinephrine, bicarbonate, and calcium; (4) epinephrine, bicarbonate, and epinephrine drip; and (5) epinephrine, bicarbonate, calcium, and epinephrine drip. No difference in baseline demographics or clinical data was present, apart from history of dementia and the use of calcium channel blockers. The number of medications given was correlated with resuscitation duration (Spearman's rank correlation = 0.50, p <0.001). The proportion of patients who died during the arrest was 12.5% in those who received epinephrine alone, 30.0% in those who received only epinephrine and bicarbonate, and 46.7% to 57.9% in the remaining groups. Patients receiving only epinephrine had shorter resuscitation durations compared to that of the other groups (p <0.001) and improved survival (p = 0.003). In conclusion, providers frequently use nonguideline medications in resuscitation efforts for in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrests. Increased duration and mortality rates were found in those resuscitations compared with epinephrine alone, likely due to the longer resuscitation duration in the former groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine