AIM: To evaluate the characteristics, outcome and prognostic factors among children suffering from out of hospital cardiac arrest in Sweden.
METHODS: Patients aged below 18 years suffering from out of hospital cardiac arrest which were not crew witnessed and included in the Swedish cardiac arrest registry were included in the survey. This survey included the period 1990-2001 and 60 ambulance organisations covering 85% of the Swedish population (8 million inhabitants).
RESULTS: In all 457 children participated in the survey of which 32% were bystander witnessed and 68% received bystander CPR. Ventricular fibrillation was found in 6% of the cases. The overall survival to 1 month was 4%. The aetiology was sudden infant death syndrome in 34% and cardiac in 11%. When in a multivariate analysis considering age, sex, witnessed status, bystander CPR, initial rhythm, aetiology and the interval between call for, and arrival of, the ambulance and place of arrest only one appeared as an independent predictor of an increased chance of surviving cardiac arrest occurring outside home (adjusted odds ratio 8.7; 95% CL 2.2-58.1).
CONCLUSION: Among children suffering from out of hospital cardiac arrest in Sweden that were not crew witnessed, the overall survival is low (4%). The chance of survival appears to be markedly increased if the arrest occurs outside the patients home compared with at home. No other strong predictors for an increased chance of survival could be demonstrated.
2005. Vol. 64, no 1, 37-40 p.