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.

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Department of Cardiology

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