Variability in hospital defibrillation times

It is well known that delayed defibrillation results in reduced survival in cardiac arrest patients. Researchers analyzed outcomes from 7479 adult inpatient cardiac arrests victims in 200 hospitals from the National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. The prevalence of delayed defibrillation (>2 minutes) varied widely between hospitals, ranging from 2-51%. There was also wide variability in survival to discharge, ranging from 5-50%. Larger hospitals and ICU location had shorter times, but no other hospital characteristics were associated with delays. Hospitals need to design systems to ensure rapid defibrillation for hospitalized cardiac arrest patients (abstract).

Danielle Scheurer

Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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