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Hospital ECMO capability is associated with survival in pediatric cardiac arrest.

Resuscitation 2023 July
AIM: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) provides temporary support in severe cardiac or respiratory failure and can be deployed in children who suffer cardiac arrest. However, it is unknown if a hospital's ECMO capability is associated with better outcomes in cardiac arrest. We evaluated the association between pediatric cardiac arrest survival and the availability of pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) at the treating hospital.

METHODS: We identified cardiac arrest hospitalizations, including in- and out-of-hospital, in children (0-18 years old) using data from the Health Care Utilization Project (HCUP) National Inpatient Sample (NIS) between 2016 and 2018. The primary outcome was in-hospital survival. Hierarchical logistic regression models were built to test the association between hospital ECMO capability and in-hospital survival.

RESULTS: We identified 1276 cardiac arrest hospitalizations. Survival of the cohort was 44%; 50% at ECMO-capable hospitals and 32% at non-ECMO hospitals. After adjusting for patient-level factors and hospital factors, receipt of care at an ECMO- capable hospital was associated with higher in-hospital survival, with an odds ratio of 1.49 [95% CI 1.09, 2.02]. Patients who received treatment at ECMO-capable hospitals were younger (median 3 years vs 11 years, p < 0.001) and more likely to have a complex chronic condition, specifically congenital heart disease. A total of 10.9% (88/811) of patients at ECMO-capable hospitals received ECMO support.

CONCLUSION: A hospital's ECMO capability was associated with higher in-hospital survival among children suffering cardiac arrest in this analysis of a large United States administrative dataset. Future work to understand care delivery differences and other organizational factors in pediatric cardiac arrest is necessary to improve outcomes.

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