The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in adaptations to pediatric resuscitation systems of care. The objective of this study was to determine the temporal association between the pandemic and pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) process of care metrics, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) quality, and patient outcomes.
Multicenter retrospective analysis of a dataset comprising observations of IHCA outcomes pre pandemic (March 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020) versus pandemic (March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021).
Data source was the ICU-RESUScitation Project (“ICU-RESUS;” NCT028374497), a prospective, multicenter, cluster randomized interventional trial.
Children (≤ 18 yr) who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation while admitted to the ICU and were enrolled in ICU-RESUS.
Measurements and Main Results:
Among 429 IHCAs meeting inclusion criteria, occurrence during the pandemic period was associated with higher frequency of hypotension as the immediate cause of arrest. Cardiac arrest physiology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation quality metrics, and postarrest physiologic and quality of care metrics were similar between the two periods. Survival with favorable neurologic outcome (Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category score 1–3 or unchanged from baseline) occurred in 102 of 195 subjects (52%) during the pandemic compared with 140 of 234 (60%) pre pandemic (p = 0.12). Among survivors, occurrence of IHCA during the pandemic period was associated with a greater increase in Functional Status Scale (FSS) (i.e., worsening) from baseline (1 [0–3] vs 0 [0–2]; p = 0.01). After adjustment for confounders, IHCA survival during the pandemic period was associated with a greater increase in FSS from baseline (+1.19 [95% CI, 0.35–2.04] FSS points; p = 0.006) and higher odds of a new FSS-defined morbidity (adjusted odds ratio, 1.88 [95% CI, 1.03–3.46]; p = 0.04).
Using the ICU-RESUS dataset, we found that relative to the year prior, pediatric IHCA during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with greater worsening of functional status and higher odds of new functional morbidity among survivors.