Therapeutic hypothermia after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Finnish intensive care units: the FINNRESUSCI study

Jukka Vaahersalo, Pamela Hiltunen, Marjaana Tiainen, Tuomas Oksanen, Kirsi-Maija Kaukonen, Jouni Kurola, Esko Ruokonen, Jyrki Tenhunen, Tero Ala-Kokko, Vesa Lund, Matti Reinikainen, Outi Kiviniemi, Tom Silfvast, Markku Kuisma, Tero Varpula, Ville Pettilä
Intensive Care Medicine 2013, 39 (5): 826-37

PURPOSE: We aimed to evaluate post-resuscitation care, implementation of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU)-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients in Finland.

METHODS: We included all adult OHCA patients admitted to 21 ICUs in Finland from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 in this prospective observational study. Patients were followed (mortality and neurological outcome evaluated by Cerebral Performance Categories, CPC) within 1 year after cardiac arrest.

RESULTS: This study included 548 patients treated after OHCA. Of those, 311 patients (56.8%) had a shockable initial rhythm (incidence of 7.4/100,000/year) and 237 patients (43.2%) had a non-shockable rhythm (incidence of 5.6/100,000/year). At ICU admission, 504 (92%) patients were unconscious. TH was given to 241/281 (85.8%) unconscious patients resuscitated from shockable rhythms, with unfavourable 1-year neurological outcome (CPC 3-4-5) in 42.0% with TH versus 77.5% without TH (p < 0.001). TH was given to 70/223 (31.4%) unconscious patients resuscitated from non-shockable rhythms, with 1-year CPC of 3-4-5 in 80.6% (54/70) with TH versus 84.0% (126/153) without TH (p = 0.56). This lack of difference remained after adjustment for propensity to receive TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms.

CONCLUSIONS: One-year unfavourable neurological outcome of patients with shockable rhythms after TH was lower than in previous randomized controlled trials. However, our results do not support use of TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms.


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