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COVID-19 Tied to Higher Mortality After Cardiac Arrest

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2021 -- Among patients who suffer a cardiac arrest either in or out of hospital, those who are infected with COVID-19 are more likely to die than those who are not infected with COVID-19, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the European Heart Journal.

Pedram Sultanian, from University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues used data from the Swedish Registry for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (Jan. 1 to July 20, 2020) to identify 1,946 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and 1,080 cases of in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA). Characteristics and outcomes of IHCA and OHCA were compared for the pandemic and prepandemic periods.

The researchers found that during the pandemic, 10.0 percent of OHCAs and 16.1 percent of IHCAs had ongoing COVID-19. The odds ratio (OR) for 30-day mortality in OHCA cases was 3.40 in COVID-19-positive patients, with a corresponding hazard ratio (HR) of 1.45, compared with COVID-19-negative patients. The adjusted 30-day survival rate was lower among patients with COVID-19 than patients without COVID-19 (4.7 versus 9.8 percent); 30-day survival was 7.6 percent in the prepandemic period. Among cases of IHCA, the odds for 30-day mortality were higher for COVID-19-positive status versus COVID-19-negative status (OR, 2.27), with a corresponding HR of 1.48. Following IHCA, adjusted 30-day survival was 23.1 percent in patients with COVID-19 compared with 39.5 percent in patients without COVID-19 and 36.4 percent in the prepandemic period.

"Our study clearly shows that cardiac arrest and COVID-19 is a very lethal combination," Sultanian said in a statement. "Patients with the coronavirus should be monitored intensively and measures taken to prevent cardiac arrest, for instance with the use of continuous heart monitors for patients at high risk."

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Posted: February 2021

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