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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Outcome when adrenaline (epinephrine) was actually given vs. not given - post hoc analysis of a randomized clinical trial

Theresa M Olasveengen, Lars Wik, Kjetil Sunde, Petter A Steen
Resuscitation 2012, 83 (3): 327-32
22115931

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: IV line insertion and drugs did not affect long-term survival in an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) randomized clinical trial (RCT). In a previous large registry study adrenaline was negatively associated with survival from OHCA. The present post hoc analysis on the RCT data compares outcomes for patients actually receiving adrenaline to those not receiving adrenaline.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients from a RCT performed May 2003 to April 2008 were included. Three patients from the original intention-to-treat analysis were excluded due to insufficient documentation of adrenaline administration. Quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and clinical outcomes were compared.

RESULTS: Clinical characteristics were similar and CPR quality comparable and within guideline recommendations for 367 patients receiving adrenaline and 481 patients not receiving adrenaline. Odds ratio (OR) for being admitted to hospital, being discharged from hospital and surviving with favourable neurological outcome for the adrenaline vs. no-adrenaline group was 2.5 (CI 1.9, 3.4), 0.5 (CI 0.3, 0.8) and 0.4 (CI 0.2, 0.7), respectively. Ventricular fibrillation, response interval, witnessed arrest, gender, age and endotracheal intubation were confounders in multivariate logistic regression analysis. OR for survival for adrenaline vs. no-adrenaline adjusted for confounders was 0.52 (95% CI: 0.29, 0.92).

CONCLUSION: Receiving adrenaline was associated with improved short-term survival, but decreased survival to hospital discharge and survival with favourable neurological outcome after OHCA. This post hoc survival analysis is in contrast to the previous intention-to-treat analysis of the same data, but agrees with previous non-randomized registry data. This shows limitations of non-randomized or non-intention-to-treat analyses.

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