Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 12, pp 805–816

Survival after in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation

A meta-analysis
  • Mark H. Ebell
  • Lorne A. Becker
  • Henry C. Barry
  • Michael Hagen
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1046/j.1525-1497.1998.00244.x

Cite this article as:
Ebell, M.H., Becker, L.A., Barry, H.C. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (1998) 13: 805. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1998.00244.x


OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates of immediate survival and survival to discharge for adult patients undergoing in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and to identify demographic and clinical variables associated with these outcomes.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The MEDLARS database of the National Library of Medicine was searched. In addition, the authors’ extensive personal files and the bibliography of each identified study were searched for further studies. Two sets of inclusion criteria were used, minimal (any study of adults undergoing in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and strict (included only patients from general ward and intensive care units, and adequately defined cardiopulmonary arrest and resuscitation). Each study was independently reviewed and abstracted in a nonblinded fashion by two reviewers. The data abstracted were compared, and any discrepancies were resolved by consensus discussion. For the subset of studies meeting the strict criteria, the overall rate of immediate survival was 40.7% and the rate of survival to discharge was 13.4%. The following variables were associated with failure to survive to discharge: sepsis on the day prior to resuscitation (odds ratio [OR] 31.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9, 515), metastatic cancer (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.2, 12.6), dementia (OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.1, 8.8), African-American race (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.4, 5.6), serum creatinine level at a cutpoint of 1.5 mg/dL (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.2, 3.8), cancer (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.2, 3.0), coronary artery disease (OR 0.55; 95% CI 0.4, 0.8), and location of resuscitation in the intensive care unit (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.4, 0.8).

CONCLUSIONS: When talking with patients, physicians can describe the overall likelihood of surviving discharge as 1 in 8 for patients who undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation and 1 in 3 for patients who survive cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Key Words

cardiopulmonary resuscitation meta-analysis resuscitation prognosis 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark H. Ebell
    • 1
  • Lorne A. Becker
    • 2
  • Henry C. Barry
    • 1
  • Michael Hagen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family PracticeMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineSUNY Health Science CenterSyracuse
  3. 3.Department of Family PracticeUniversity of KentuckyLexington

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