Outcomes Following Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in 68 Animals (March 2007-December 2007)
Studies evaluating survival following cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) in animals are limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the patient characteristics, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), extended survival and discharge from the hospital after cardiopulmonary arrest.
The log of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts in the ICU and Emergency Room was searched for all canine and feline cases occurring between March-December, 2007. Data recorded from patients' medical records included signalment, whether or not the patient achieved ROSC, whether spontaneous circulation was maintained for more than 20 minutes (defined as extended survival) and whether the patient was discharged from the hospital. Animals could be enrolled more than one time if greater than 20 minutes of spontaneous circulation occurred between CPA episodes. Chi square analysis was used to compare the frequency of ROSC and extended survival between species, and independent t-tests were used to compare age between animals with and without ROSC or extended survival. P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Seventy-two separate CPR events were recorded, involving 68 patients including 54 dogs and 14 cats. Four dogs had two separate arrests included in the analysis. Age was known for 62 animals, with a mean=9.0±4.4 yrs. ROSC occurred in 47 CPR events (65%). There was no significant difference in frequency of ROSC between cats (71%) and dogs (64%; p=0.59). Age was not significantly different between animals with ROSC (9.5±4.2 yrs) and those without (mean=8.0±4.5 yrs; p=0.22). Extended survival was achieved in 33 CPR events (46%). No significant differences in extended survival were detected between dogs (50%) and cats (23%; p=0.08), nor was there a significant difference in age between animals with and without extended survival (p=0.23). Of 47 animals achieving ROSC, 15 died from a subsequent cardiopulmonary arrest, while 27 were euthanized. Five animals (7%; 5 dogs and 0 cats) were discharged from the hospital. This study demonstrates that ROSC was common in dogs and cats undergoing CPR in an ICU setting. Extended survival was also common but animals survived to discharge at a lower rate. Future directions in CPR should focus on improved supportive care following ROSC as well as improvements in client communication regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation outcomes.