The epidemiology of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Australia and New Zealand: A binational report from the Australasian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC)

Janet Bray, Stuart Howell, Stephen Ball, Tan Doan, Emma Bosley, Karen Smith, Bridget Dicker, Steven Faddy, Melanie Thorrowgood, Andy Swain, Andrew Thomas, Alexander Wilson, Carol Shipp, Tony Walker, Paul Bailey, Judith Finn, Aus-ROC Epistry Management Committee

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The Australasian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC) out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) Epistry (Epidemiological Registry) now covers 100% of Australia and New Zealand (NZ). This study reports and compares the Utstein demographics, arrest characteristics and outcomes of OHCA patients across our region. Methods: We included all OHCA cases throughout 2019 as submitted to the Epistry by the eight Australian and two NZ emergency medical services (EMS). We calculated crude and age-standardised incidence rates and performed a national and EMS regional comparison. Results: We obtained data for 31,778 OHCA cases for 2019: 26,637 in Australia and 5,141 in NZ. Crude incidence was 107.9 per 100,000 person-years in Australia and 103.2/100,000 in NZ. Overall, the majority of OHCAs occurred in adults (96%), males (66%), private residences (76%), were unwitnessed (63%), of presumed medical aetiology (83%), and had an initial monitored rhythm of asystole (64%). In non-EMS-witnessed cases, 38% received bystander CPR and 2% received public defibrillation. Wide variation was seen between EMS regions for all OHCA demographics, arrest characteristics and outcomes. In patients who received an EMS-attempted resuscitation (13,664/31,778): 28% (range across EMS = 13.1% to 36.7%) had return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at hospital arrival and 13% (range across EMS = 9.9% to 20.7%) survived to hospital discharge/30-days. Survival in the Utstein comparator group (bystander-witnessed in shockable rhythm) varied across the EMS regions between 27.4% to 42.0%. Conclusion: OHCA across Australia and NZ has varied incidence, characteristics and survival. Understanding the variation in survival and modifiable predictors is key to informing strategies to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Emergency medical services
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart arrest
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Registry
  • Resuscitation

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