Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics and survival rates of patients receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation more than once during a single hospitalization.
Design: We analyzed inpatient Medicare data from 1992 to 2005 identifying beneficiaries 65 years old and older who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation more than once during the same hospitalization.
Measurements: We examined patient and hospital characteristics, survival to hospital discharge, factors associated with survival to discharge, median survival, and discharge disposition.
Results: We analyzed data from 421,394 patients who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation during the study period. Four lakh thirteen thousand four hundred three patients received cardiopulmonary resuscitation once during a hospitalization and survival was 17.7% with median survival after discharge being 20.6 months. There were 7,991 patients who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation more than once during the same hospitalization; 8.8% survived the efforts, and median survival after leaving the hospital was 10.5 months. Patients who received more than one episode of cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a hospitalization were significantly less likely to go home after discharge. Greater age, black race, higher burden of chronic illness, and receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a larger or metropolitan hospital were associated with lower survival among patients receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation more than once.
Conclusions: Undergoing multiple cardiopulmonary resuscitation events during a hospitalization is associated with substantially reduced short- and long-term survival compared with patients who undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation once. This information may be useful to clinicians when discussing end-of-life care with patients and families of patients who have experienced return of spontaneous circulation following in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation but remain at risk for recurrent cardiac arrest.