To evaluate the variation of hospital rates of delayed epinephrine administration in pediatric patients with nonshockable in-hospital cardiac arrest, and the association of those rates with event, 24-hour, and overall survival to hospital discharge.
A retrospective evaluation was performed. Delayed epinephrine was defined as greater than 5 minutes between the time the need for chest compressions was identified and epinephrine was administered. The main outcome was the association of hospital rate of delayed epinephrine administration with survival to hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes were event and 24-hour survival. Evaluation used hierarchical logistic regression and included 13 patient/event-level and seven hospital-level factors.
Hospitals with greater than 6 months data in the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines—Resuscitation registry (2000–2016) and greater than or equal to five total pediatric cardiac arrests with nonshockable rhythm.
Children less than 18 years old with index nonshockable in-hospital cardiac arrest treated with greater than or equal to one epinephrine dose.
Measurements and Main Results:
One-thousand four-hundred sixty-two patients at 69 hospitals were included: 218 patients (14.9%) had epinephrine delay rates ranging from 0% to 80% of events (median, 15.6%; interquartile range, 7–25%). The median and interquartile range of hospital level delay was 16% (7–25%). Patient/event-level predictors of delayed epinephrine were asystole (odds ratio, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.10–2.16]) and insertion of an endotracheal tube (odds ratio, 1.86 [95% CI, 1.27–2.73]). Hospital size less than 200 compared with greater than or equal to 500 beds (odds ratio, 3.07 [95% CI, 1.22–7.73]) and ICU location (odds ratio, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.36–0.74]) were associated with epinephrine delay rates. After adjustment, increasing quartiles of epinephrine delay were associated with lower patient and hospital-level return of spontaneous circulation (p = 0.019, p = 0.006) and 24-hour survival (p = 0.018, p = 0.002) respectively, but not survival to discharge (p = 0.20, p = 0.24).
Delayed epinephrine administration following pediatric nonshockable in-hospital cardiac arrest varies significantly between hospitals. Hospitals with higher rates of delayed epinephrine administration had worse patient- and hospital-level outcomes after adjusting for multiple patient- and hospital-level factors. Delayed epinephrine administration may directly contribute to increased mortality risk and/or may be a marker of unmeasured elements of hospital resuscitation performance.