When out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients is not successfully resuscitated – Can we increase survival?

Which factors have influence when resuscitation attempts fail? Carried out by Rigshospitalet in collaboration with Helsingborg General Hospital, the Pre-hospital Department in the Capital Region and Skåne University Hospital.


Each year approximately 3000 Danes and 5000 Swedes suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the street, at home or at their workplace. Cardiac arrest outside hospital is a very dangerous condition and even though survival has increased during the last decade (4% in 2001 to 10% in 2010 in Denmark) it is still only 10% who survive. In the Capital Region of Denmark the survival is almost twice as high as in the rest of Denmark, since almost 20% of resuscitated patients were discharged alive from hospitals in 2010.

In the current research project located at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital we aim to figure out why some patients do not survive despite persistent resuscitation attempts. The unique Danish patient registries contain available data regarding 5000 patients who experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during the last 10 years in the Capital Region. The registries make it possible to thoroughly investigate which circumstances that influence outcome – and reasons that predict survival.

We are currently building up a collaboration across Öresund in the Centre for Cardiac arrest in the Öresund Region by working together with hospitals in Lund. The goal is to increase the quality of treatment of cardiac arrest by collecting experiences from both regions and hopefully increase survival after cardiac arrest, benefiting Danes as well as Swedes.

Keeping in mind that 80% of patients in the Capital Region of Denmark are not successfully resuscitated from the incident of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest it is hopefully and likely possible to improve survival. Therefore the goal of the research project is to improve treatment and increase survival of cardiac arrest patients.

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