Sodium bicarbonate use during in-hospital pediatric pulseless cardiac arrest - A report from the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines®-Resuscitation

American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Despite limited recommendations for using sodium bicarbonate (SB) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), we hypothesized that SB continues to be used frequently during pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) and that its use varies by hospital-specific, patient-specific, and event-specific characteristics. Methods: We analyzed 3719 pediatric (<18 years) index pulseless CPR events from the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation database from 1/2000 to 9/2010. Results: SB was used in 2536 (68%) of 3719 CPR events. Incidence of SB use between 2000 and 2005 vs. 2006 and 2010 was 71.1% vs. 66.2% (P= 0.002). The primary outcome was survival to discharge. Secondary outcomes included 24-h survival and neurologic outcome. Multivariable logistic regression analyzed the association between SB use and outcomes. SB had increased use an ICU location, metabolic/electrolyte disturbance, prolonged CPR, pVT/VF, and concurrently with other pharmacologic interventions. Adjusting for confounding factors, SB use was associated with decreased 24-h survival (aOR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.99) and decreased survival to discharge (aOR 0.80; 95% CI: 0.65, 0.97). Inclusion of metabolic/electrolyte abnormalities, hyperkalemia, and toxicologic abnormalities only (n= 674), SB use was not associated with worse outcomes or unfavorable neurologic outcome. Conclusions: SB is used frequently during pediatric pulseless IHCA, yet there is a significant trend toward less routine use over the last decade. Because SB is more likely to be used in an ICU, with prolonged CPR, and concurrently with other pharmacologic interventions; its use during CPR may be associated with poor prognosis due to an association with "last ditch" efforts of resuscitation rather than causation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Pediatrics
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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