Resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in residential aged care facilities in Melbourne, Australia

C. Deasy, J. E. Bray, K. Smith, L. R. Harriss, S. A. Bernard, P. M. Davidson, P. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Introduction: CPR in patients in residential aged care facilities (RACF) deserves careful consideration. We examined the characteristics, management and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in RACF patients in Melbourne, Australia. Methods: The Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) was searched for all OHCAs occurring in RACFs in Melbourne. The characteristics and outcomes were compared to non-RACF patients in the VACAR. Results: Between 2000 and 2009 there were 30,006 OHCAs, 2350 (7.8%) occurring in a RACF.A shockable rhythm was present in 179 (7.6%) patients on arrival of paramedics of whom bystander CPR had been performed in 118 (66%); 173 (97%) received an EMS attempted resuscitation. ROSC was achieved in 71 (41%) patients and 15 (8.7%) patients survived to leave hospital. Non shockable rhythm was present in 2171 patients (92%) of whom 804 (37%) had an attempted resuscitation by paramedics. ROSC was achieved in 176 patients (22%) and 10 patients (1.2%) were discharged alive. Survival from OHCA occurring in a RACF was less than survival in those aged >70 years of age who suffered OHCA in their own homes (1.8% vs. 4.7%, p=0.001). On multivariable analysis, witnessed OHCA (OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.4-3.7) and the presence of bystander CPR (OR 4.6, 95% CI 3.7-5.8) was associated with the paramedic decision to resuscitate. Conclusion: Resuscitation of patients in RACF is not futile. However, informed decisions concerning resuscitation status should be made by patients and their families on entry to a RACF. Where it is appropriate to perform resuscitation, outcomes may be improved by the provision of BLS training and possibly AED equipment to RACF staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged care facilities
  • Elderly
  • Epidemiology
  • Nursing homes
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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