To analyse the present day characteristics and outcome of cardio-respiratory arrest in children in Spain.
An 18-month prospective, multicentre study analysing out-of-hospital and in-hospital cardio-respiratory arrest in children.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Two hundred and eighty-three children between 7 days and 17 years of age with cardio-respiratory arrest. Data were recorded according to the Utstein style. The outcome variables were the sustained return of spontaneous circulation (initial survival), and survival at 1 year (final survival). Three hundred and eleven cardio-respiratory arrest episodes, composed of 70 respiratory arrests and 241 cardiac arrests in 283 children were studied. Accidents were the most frequent cause of out-of-hospital arrest (40%), and cardiac disease was the leading cause (31%) of in-hospital arrest. Initial survival was 60.2% and 1 year survival was 33.2%. The final survival was higher in patients with respiratory arrest (70%) than in patients with cardiac arrest (21.1%) (P <0.0001). Although many individual factors correlated with mortality, multivariate logistic regression revealed that the best indicator of mortality was a duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation of over 20 min (odds ratio: 10.35; 95% CI 4.59-23.32).
In Spain, the present mortality from cardio-respiratory arrest in children remains high. Survival after respiratory arrest is significantly higher than after cardiac arrest. The duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempt is the best indicator of mortality of cardio-respiratory arrest in children.