Specialist care better for cardiac arrest patients, even if hospital further away, say researchers

17th April 2017

People who have an  out-of-hospital cardiac arrest fare better when taken directly to a hospital with specialist heart care, even if a less capable hospital is closer, according to more than a decade’s of data from Denmark.

The researchers, Dr Tinne Tranberg, from Aarhus University Hospital, and colleagues have published the results of their large, historical follow-up study online in the European Heart Journal.

Emergency response teams typically bring cardiac arrest survivors to the closest hospital but almost a third die on their way. Most hospitals, however, are not specialised in the treatment of survivors of cardiac arrest and lack 24-hour coronary angiography and intensive care units.

The researchers used the Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry to identify 41,186 unselected patients who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and in whom resuscitation was attempted between 2001 and 2013.

Notably, the distance to the nearest  specialist centre was not associated with survival.

“These results support a centralised strategy for immediate post-resuscitation care in these patients,” Dr Tranberg and colleagues concluded.

  • Tranberg T, Lippert FK, Christensen EF, et al. Distance to invasive heart centre, performance of acute coronary angiography, and angioplasty and associated outcome in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a nationwide study. Eur Heart J. 2017

For more details see here.