Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 826–837 | Cite as

Therapeutic hypothermia after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Finnish intensive care units: the FINNRESUSCI study

  • Jukka Vaahersalo
  • Pamela Hiltunen
  • Marjaana Tiainen
  • Tuomas Oksanen
  • Kirsi-Maija Kaukonen
  • Jouni Kurola
  • Esko Ruokonen
  • Jyrki Tenhunen
  • Tero Ala-Kokko
  • Vesa Lund
  • Matti Reinikainen
  • Outi Kiviniemi
  • Tom Silfvast
  • Markku Kuisma
  • Tero Varpula
  • Ville Pettilä
  • the FINNRESUSCI Study Group



We aimed to evaluate post-resuscitation care, implementation of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU)-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients in Finland.


We included all adult OHCA patients admitted to 21 ICUs in Finland from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 in this prospective observational study. Patients were followed (mortality and neurological outcome evaluated by Cerebral Performance Categories, CPC) within 1 year after cardiac arrest.


This study included 548 patients treated after OHCA. Of those, 311 patients (56.8 %) had a shockable initial rhythm (incidence of 7.4/100,000/year) and 237 patients (43.2 %) had a non-shockable rhythm (incidence of 5.6/100,000/year). At ICU admission, 504 (92 %) patients were unconscious. TH was given to 241/281 (85.8 %) unconscious patients resuscitated from shockable rhythms, with unfavourable 1-year neurological outcome (CPC 3–4–5) in 42.0 % with TH versus 77.5 % without TH (p < 0.001). TH was given to 70/223 (31.4 %) unconscious patients resuscitated from non-shockable rhythms, with 1-year CPC of 3–4–5 in 80.6 % (54/70) with TH versus 84.0 % (126/153) without TH (p = 0.56). This lack of difference remained after adjustment for propensity to receive TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms.


One-year unfavourable neurological outcome of patients with shockable rhythms after TH was lower than in previous randomized controlled trials. However, our results do not support use of TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms.


Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest Therapeutic hypothermia Mortality Outcome 



The authors acknowledge all the participants of the FINNRESUSCI study, especially the study doctors and nurses in the participating ICUs. We also thank Tieto Ltd, Helsinki for processing the database of the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium.

Supplementary material

134_2013_2868_MOESM1_ESM.doc (48 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 47 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jukka Vaahersalo
    • 1
    • 11
  • Pamela Hiltunen
    • 2
  • Marjaana Tiainen
    • 3
  • Tuomas Oksanen
    • 1
  • Kirsi-Maija Kaukonen
    • 1
  • Jouni Kurola
    • 2
  • Esko Ruokonen
    • 2
  • Jyrki Tenhunen
    • 4
    • 5
  • Tero Ala-Kokko
    • 6
  • Vesa Lund
    • 7
  • Matti Reinikainen
    • 8
  • Outi Kiviniemi
    • 9
  • Tom Silfvast
    • 10
  • Markku Kuisma
    • 10
  • Tero Varpula
    • 1
  • Ville Pettilä
    • 1
  • the FINNRESUSCI Study Group
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Intensive Care UnitsHelsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Division of Intensive Care MedicineKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyHelsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Critical Care Medicine Research GroupTampere University HospitalTampereFinland
  5. 5.Department of Surgical Sciences/Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  6. 6.Department of Anaesthesiology, Division of Intensive CareOulu University HospitalOuluFinland
  7. 7.Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineSatakunta Central HospitalPoriFinland
  8. 8.Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineNorth Karelia Central HospitalJoensuuFinland
  9. 9.Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineLappi Central HospitalRovaniemiFinland
  10. 10.Emergency Medical ServiceHelsinki University Central HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  11. 11.Department of Intensive Care MedicineHelsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland

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