Inhospital CPR 25 years later: Why has survival decreased?

Peter E. Dans, Katherine L. Nevin, Christine E. Seidman, Justin C. McArthur, Steven T. Kariya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Since the introduction of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) 25 years ago, there have been many advances in cardiopulmonary technology and in our understanding of the factors leading to a successful outcome. Despite these advances, our study of outcomes in 88 patients having CPR at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1981 revealed a 14% survival rate to discharge compared with 24% from the same hospital from 1959 to 1961. We found that 74% of the 46 patients who initially survived CPR died before discharge. In addition, two of 12 survivors at discharge were dead one week later and one was in a persistent vegetative state three years after CPR. Our findings suggest that this technology, once meant to be applied when cardiac arrest was sudden and unexpected, is now being applied to patients regardless of underlying condition or prognosis. A follow-up survey of 63 Maryland hospitals revealed that many lacked formal plans for CPR management or education. We recommend that a comprehensive approach to CPR be adopted by all hospitals, involving (1) education regarding appropriate patient selection, (2) assurance of skilled application and backup care for survivors, and (3) a mechanism for routinely monitoring outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1178
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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