Between 1983 and 1989, 962 patients in Rotterdam were resuscitated outside hospital, of whom 240 (25%) could be discharged alive. A follow-up study was performed to determine prognosis in these patients. Of the 240 survivors of out-of-hospital resuscitation 80% survived after 1 year and 61% after 5 years. During the first year, 9% suffered from myocardial (re)infarction and 13% underwent coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty. Within the first 3 years after resuscitation 60% of the patients were readmitted to hospital. Permanent or temporary neurological deficits were observed in 30 patients (14%). Patients with a primary arrhythmia without myocardial infarction had a worse prognosis than patients with a cardiac arrest in the context of an infarct. Survival was better in patients in whom resuscitation was initiated by physicians or ambulance-nurses, than in patients resuscitated by lay-people. Multivariate analysis revealed that this difference could be explained by a larger proportion of patients with a primary arrhythmia in the latter group. Since long-term prognosis after out-of-hospital resuscitation is satisfactory, programmes for resuscitation courses should be stimulated. Such programmes should aim predominantly at relatives of patients with known heart disease, police officers and children.

Ambulance service, Bystander, Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, Prognosis, Resuscitation,
Department of Cardiology

Kimmana, G.P, Ivensa, E.M.A, Hartman, J.A.M, Hart, H.N, & Simoons, M.L. (1994). Long-term survival after successful out-of-hospital resuscitation. Resuscitation, 28(3), 227–232. doi:10.1016/0300-9572(94)90068-X