Hospital Variation in Time to Epinephrine for Non-Shockable In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Background—For patients with in-hospital cardiac arrests due to non-shockable rhythms, delays in epinephrine administration beyond 5 minutes is associated with worse survival. However, the extent of hospital variation in delayed epinephrine administration and its impact on hospital-level outcomes is unknown.
Methods—Within Get with the Guidelines-Resuscitation, we identified 103,932 adult patients (≥18 years) at 548 hospitals with an in-hospital cardiac arrest due to a non-shockable rhythm who received at least 1 dose of epinephrine between 2000 to 2014. We constructed two-level hierarchical regression models to quantify hospital variation in rates of delayed epinephrine administration (>5 minutes) and its association with hospital rates of survival to discharge and survival with functional recovery.
Results—Overall, 13,213 (12.7%) patients had delays to epinephrine, and this rate varied markedly across hospitals (range: 0% to 53.8%). The odds of delay in epinephrine administration were 58% higher at one randomly selected hospital compared to a similar patient at another randomly selected hospitals (median odds ratio [OR] 1.58; 95% C.I. 1.51 - 1.64). Median risk-standardized survival rate was 12.0% (range: 5.4% to 31.9%) and risk-standardized survival with functional recovery was 7.4% (range: 0.9% to 30.8%). There was an inverse correlation between a hospital's rate of delayed epinephrine administration and its risk-standardized rate of survival to discharge (ρ= -0.22, P<0.0001) and survival with functional recovery (ρ= -0.14, P=0.001). Compared to a median survival rate of 12.9% (interquartile range 11.1% to 15.4%) at hospitals in the lowest quartile of epinephrine delay, risk-standardized survival was 16% lower at hospitals in the quartile with the highest rate of epinephrine delays (10.8%, interquartile range: 9.7% to 12.7%).
Conclusions—Delays in epinephrine administration following in-hospital cardiac arrest are common and varies across hospitals. Hospitals with high rates of delayed epinephrine administration had lower rates of overall survival for in-hospital cardiac arrest due to non-shockable rhythm. Further studies are needed to determine if improving hospital performance on time to epinephrine administration, especially at hospitals with poor performance on this metric will lead to improved outcomes.
- Received September 13, 2016.
- Revision received November 9, 2016.
- Accepted November 10, 2016.