Public Report Cards for In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Empowering the Public With Location-Specific Data
Each year, there are approximately 200,000 cardiac arrests in hospitalized patients in the United States (US)1 and survival rates remain very poor.
In this issue of Circulation, Fonarow et al. present new findings about regional variability in resuscitation rates and outcomes across the US.2 The authors reviewed records of over 800,000 in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) events from 2003-2011, and identified that cardiac arrest in hospitalized patients was common with an incidence of 2.85/1000 admissions. Most notably they reported significant variability in IHCA across states with a nearly 6-fold difference in incidence and 2-fold difference in outcomes. With this substantial variance across states, it is likely that the differences within states are even greater. These findings are disturbing and clearly signal that where you live and where you arrest matter. As with any good study, this work raises more questions than it answers. Namely, what are the factors driving this variability and how can we narrow the gap between which hospitalized patients live and which die? Ultimately, this information is critically important to patients for making informed decisions about the locations where they receive healthcare.
- Received March 16, 2015.
- Accepted March 17, 2015.