Survival after traumatic cardiac arrest is possible-a comparison of German patient-registries

Stephan Seewald, Jan Wnent, Jan-Thorsten Gräsner, Ingvild Tjelmeland, Matthias Fischer, Andreas Bohn, Bertil Bouillon, Holger Maurer, Rolf Lefering


BACKGROUND: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) due to trauma is rare, and survival in this group is infrequent. Over the last decades, several new procedures have been implemented to increase survival, and a "Special circumstances chapter" was included in the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines in 2015. This article analysed outcomes after traumatic cardiac arrest in Germany using data from the German Resuscitation Registry (GRR) and the TraumaRegister DGU® (TR-DGU) of the German Trauma Society. METHODS: In this study, data from patients with OHCA between 01.01.2014 and 31.12.2019 secondary to major trauma and where cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was started were eligible for inclusion. Endpoints were return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), hospital admission with ROSC and survival to hospital discharge.

RESULTS: 1.049 patients were eligible for inclusion. ROSC was achieved in 28.7% of the patients, 240 patients (22.9%) were admitted to hospital with ROSC and 147 (14.0%) with ongoing CPR. 643 (67.8%) patients were declared dead on scene. Of all patients resuscitated after traumatic OHCA, 27.3% (259) died in hospital. The overall mortality was 95.0% and 5.0% survived to hospital discharge (47). In a multivariate logistic regression analysis; age, sex, injury severity score (ISS), head injury, found in cardiac arrest, shock on admission, blood transfusion, CPR in emergency room (ER), emergency surgery and initial electrocardiogram (ECG), were independent predictors of mortality.

CONCLUSION: Traumatic cardiac arrest was an infrequent event with low overall survival. The mortality has remained unchanged over the last decades in Germany. Additional efforts are necessary to identify reversible cardiac arrest causes and provide targeted trauma resuscitation on scene.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: DRKS, DRKS-ID DRKS00027944. Retrospectively registered 03/02/2022.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC emergency medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)158
Publication statusPublished - 10.09.2022

Cite this