Impact of a trauma-focused resuscitation protocol on survival outcomes after traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: An interrupted time series analysis

Zainab Alqudah, Ziad Nehme, Brett Williams, Alaa Oteir, Stephen Bernard, Karen Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: In this study, we examine the impact of a trauma-focused resuscitation protocol on survival outcomes following adult traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Methods: We included adult traumatic OHCA patients aged >16 years occurring between 2008 and 2019. In December 2016, a new resuscitation protocol for traumatic OHCA was introduced prioritising the treatment of potentially reversible causes before conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The effect of the new protocol on survival outcomes was assessed using adjusted interrupted time series regression. Results: Over the study period, paramedics attempted resuscitation on 996 patients out of 3,958 attended cases. Of the treated cases, 672 (67.5%) and 324 (32.5%) occurred during pre-intervention and intervention periods, respectively. The frequency of almost all trauma interventions was significantly higher in the intervention period, including external haemorrhage control (15.7% vs 7.6; p-value <0.001), blood administration (3.8% vs 0.2%; p-value <0.001), and needle thoracostomy (75.9% vs 42.0%; p-value <0.001). There was also a significant reduction in the median time from initial patient contact to the delivery of needle thoracostomy (4.4 min vs 8.7 min; p-value <0.001) and splinting (8.7 min vs 17.5 min; p-value = 0.009). After adjustment, the trauma-focused resuscitation protocol was not associated with a change in the level of survival to hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.11−8.59), event survival (AOR 0.82; 95% CI: 0.33–2.03), or prehospital return of spontaneous circulation (AOR 1.30; 95% CI: 0.61–2.76). Conclusion: Despite an increase in trauma-based interventions and a reduction in the time to their administration, our study did not find a survival benefit from a trauma-focused resuscitation protocol over initial conventional CPR. However, survival was low with both approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Emergency medical services
  • Guidelines
  • Survival
  • Trauma

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