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Patients suffering from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) associated with an initial shockable rhythm have a better prognosis than their counterparts. The implications of recurrent or refractory malignant arrhythmia in such context remain unclear. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to hospital discharge among patients in OHCA.
This cohort study included adult patients with an initial shockable rhythm over a 5-year period from a registry of OHCA in Montreal, Canada. The relationship between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to discharge was described using dynamic probabilities. The association between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to discharge was assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
A total of 1,788 patients (78% male with a mean age of 64 years) were included in this analysis, of whom 536 (30%) received treatments from an advanced care paramedic. A third of the cohort (583 patients, 33%) survived to hospital discharge. The probability of survival was highest with the first shock (33% [95% confidence interval 30%-35%]), but decreased to 8% (95% confidence interval 4%-13%) following nine shocks. A higher number of prehospital shocks was independently associated with lower odds of survival (adjusted odds ratio=0.88 [95% confidence interval 0.85-0.92], p < 0.001).
Survival remains possible even after a high number of shocks for patients suffering from an OHCA with an initial shockable rhythm. However, requiring more shocks is independently associated with worse survival.
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