Long-term survival and neurological outcome of patients who received recombinant tissue plasminogen activator during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Wolfgang Lederer, Christa Lichtenberger, Christoph Pechlaner, Johann Kinzl, Gunnar Kroesen, Michael Baubin
Resuscitation 2004, 61 (2): 123-9

OBJECTIVE: The long-term outcome in patients who received recombinant tissue plasminogen activator during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) of non-traumatic aetiology was assessed.

METHODS: The neurological outcome in survivors and their level of performance, subjective well-being and quality of life were evaluated.

RESULTS: A follow-up study of 27 cardiac arrest survivors was conducted; four patients (15%) died during the first year, a total of seven patients (26%) within 5 years. Twenty-two patients (81%) were discharged from hospital without neurological deficit (cerebral performance category (CPC) score: 1), three patients scored CPC 2 and two patients CPC 3. Heart failure classification on discharge was, according to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) criteria 2.1 +/- 0.9. Fifteen patients (56%) managed to return to their previous level of activity. At the time of follow-up 18 patients (67%) were still alive, of whom 15 responded to a survey regarding life satisfaction. Thirteen patients (87%) judged their situation to be worth living and twelve (80%) considered their survival a second chance, while five (33%) feared they could suffer another cardiac arrest. Reactions from close relatives included fear/anxiety (n = 14; 78%), a sustained burden on family life (n = 12; 67%), and occasional depression (n = 7; 39%).

CONCLUSIONS: Thrombolytic therapy during cardiopulmonary resuscitation may produce a favourable neurological outcome. The majority of long-term survivors reported a good subjective quality of life. In one-third of close family members some negative factors had a lasting impact on the quality of daily living.

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