Observational study of children admitted to United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Paediatric Intensive Care Units after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Heather P. Duncan
  • Robert Tasker
  • R. C. Parslow
  • E. S. Draper
  • Phil McShane
  • P. Davies
  • Kevin Morris

External organisations

  • Birmingham Children's Hospital
  • Harvard Medical School
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester


AIMS: To estimate the prevalence of children admitted after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) to UK and Republic of Ireland (RoI) Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) and factors associated with mortality to inform future clinical trial feasibility.

METHOD: Observational study using a prospectively collected dataset of the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet) of 33 UK and RoI PICUs (January 2003 to June 2010). Cases (0 to <16 years), with documented OHCA surviving to PICU admission and requiring mechanical ventilation were included. Main outcomes were prevalence for admission and death within PICU. Factors associated with mortality were examined with multiple logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: 827 of 111,170 admissions (0.73%; 95% CI [0.48 to 0.98%]) were identified as children admitted following OHCA. PICU mortality for OHCA was 50.5% (418/827). Recruitment into an adequately sized clinical trial would not be feasible with the current prevalence rate. Characteristics at PICU admission associated with increased risk of death included; bilateral unreactive pupils, genetically inherited condition, inter-hospital transfer to PICU, requirement for vasoactive drugs and greater base deficit. Factors associated with reduced risk of death were submersion or a respiratory aetiology and pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Less than 120 children a year are admitted to PICUs in the UK and RoI after OHCA, limiting options for conducting UK intervention trials. The risk factors associated with mortality identified in this study will allow risk stratification in future studies.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
Early online date20 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Cohort study, Mortality, Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, Paediatric, Paediatric intensive care