Traumatic cardiac arrest – a nationwide Danish study

BMC emergency medicine(2023)

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Background Cardiac arrest following trauma is a leading cause of death, mandating urgent treatment. This study aimed to investigate and compare the incidence, prognostic factors, and survival between patients suffering from traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA) and non-traumatic cardiac arrest (non-TCA). Methods This cohort study included all patients suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Denmark between 2016 and 2021. TCAs were identified in the prehospital medical record and linked to the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest registry. Descriptive and multivariable analyses were performed with 30-day survival as the primary outcome. Results A total of 30,215 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests were included. Among those, 984 (3.3%) were TCA. TCA patients were younger and predominantly male (77.5% vs 63.6%, p = < 0.01) compared to non-TCA patients. Return of spontaneous circulation occurred in 27.3% of cases vs 32.3% in non-TCA patients, p < 0.01, and 30-day survival was 7.3% vs 14.2%, p < 0.01. An initial shockable rhythm was associated with increased survival (aOR = 11.45, 95% CI [6.24 – 21.24] in TCA patients. When comparing TCA with non-TCA other trauma and penetrating trauma were associated with lower survival (aOR: 0.2, 95% CI [0.02–0.54] and aOR: 0.1, 95% CI [0.03 – 0.31], respectively. Non-TCA was associated with an aOR: 3.47, 95% CI [2.53 – 4,91]. Conclusion Survival from TCA is lower than in non-TCA. TCA has different predictors of outcome compared to non-TCA, illustrating the differences regarding the aetiologies of cardiac arrest. Presenting with an initial shockable cardiac rhythm might be associated with a favourable outcome in TCA.
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