Evaluation of 516 cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempts

R. L. Batenhorst, G. D. Clifton, D. C. Booth, N. M. Hendrickson, M. L. Ryberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


All adult cardiopulmonary resuscitations attended by the pharmacy department at a 486-bed tertiary-care institution were analyzed over a 24-month period. Data describing patient demographics, drug and equipment use, and patient survival were collected on 516 consecutive adult arrests. These data were recorded on a report form by a pharmacy technician and were classified as cardiac, respiratory, trauma, or other. Trauma included arrests caused by motor-vehicle accidents and gunshot wounds, and other included arrests caused by anaphylaxis or seizures. The majority of arrests (70%) were classified as cardiac, 24% as respiratory, and 6% as other. Overall, 54.5% of the patients suffering from arrests were resuscitated successfully. There was an equal distribution of arrests throughout the day. The mean duration of the resuscitation efforts was 38 minutes with a trend toward greater patient survival when resuscitation efforst lasted less than 15 minutes. Arterial blood-gas determinations were made in 81% of the arrests, defibrillations in 40%, and pacemaker or chest tube insertion in less than 10%. Sodium bicarbonate was the most frequently administered medication, followed by calcium salts and atropine sulfate. Lidocaine was used in 83% of the cases requiring antiarrhythmic therapy. Pressor support was required in 44.6% of the cases; norepinephrine bitartrate was the first-line pressor agent. Drugs not categorized as essential according to the Americal Heart Association's Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) standards were administered infrequently. Hospitals may benefit from arrest data in assessing their equipment and supply needs, staffing patterns, and personnel training programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2478-2483
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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