A descriptive analysis of the epidemiology and management of paediatric traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

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Aim: Paediatric traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a rare event with few survivors. We examined long-term trends in the incidence and outcomes of paediatric traumatic OHCA and explored the frequency and timing of intra-arrest interventions. Methods: We retrospectively analysed data from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry for cases involving traumatic OHCA in patients aged ≤16 years arresting between January 2000 to December 2017. Trends were assessed using linear regression and a non-parametric test for trend. Results: A total of 292 cases were attended by emergency medical services (EMS), of which 166 (56.9%) received an attempted resuscitation. The overall incidence of EMS-attended cases was 1.4 cases per 100,000 person-years, with no significant changes over time. Unadjusted outcomes also remained unchanged, with 23.5% achieving return of spontaneous circulation and 3.7% surviving to hospital discharge. The frequency of trauma-specific interventions increased between 2000–2005 and 2012–2017, including needle thoracostomy from 10.5% to 51.0% (p trend <0.001), crystalloid administration from 31.6% to 54.9% (p trend = 0.004) and blood administration from 0.0% to 6.3% (p trend = 0.01). The median time from emergency call to the delivery of interventions were: 12.9 min (IQR: 8.5, 20.0) for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 19.7 min (IQR: 10.7, 39.6) for external haemorrhage control, 29.8 min (IQR: 22.0, 35.4) for crystalloid administration and 31.5 min (IQR: 21.0, 38.0) for needle thoracostomy. Conclusion: The incidence and outcomes of paediatric traumatic OHCA remained unchanged over an 18 year period. Early correction of reversible causes by reducing delays to the delivery of trauma-specific interventions may yield additional survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Incidence
  • Injury
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Paediatrics
  • Survival
  • Trauma

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