International Perfusion Association


Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Prehospital and In-Hospital Treatment and Outcomes of Patients After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Japanese Multicenter Cohort Study

Background: In the chain of survival for Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), each component of care contributes to improve the prognosis of the patient with OHCA. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic potentially affected each part of care in the chain of survival. The aim of this study was to compare prehospital care, in-hospital treatment, and outcomes among OHCA patients before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We analyzed data from a multicenter prospective study in Kanto area, Japan, named SOS-KANTO 2017. We enrolled patients who registered during the pre-pandemic period (September 2019 to December 2019) and the post-pandemic period (June 2020 to March 2021). The main outcome measures were 30-day mortality and the proportion of favorable outcomes at 1 month, and secondary outcome measures were changes in prehospital and in-hospital treatments between the pre- and post-pandemic periods.

Results: There were 2015 patients in the pre-pandemic group, and 5023 in the post-pandemic group. The proportion of advanced airway management by emergency medical service (EMS) increased (p < 0.01), and EMS call-to-hospital time was prolonged (p < 0.01) in the post- versus pre-pandemic group. There were no differences between the groups in defibrillation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or temperature control therapy (p = 0.43, p = 0.14, and p = 0.16, respectively). Survival rate at 1 month and favorable outcome rate at 1 month were lower (p = 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively) in the post- versus pre-pandemic group.

Conclusion: Survival rate and favorable outcome rate 1 month after return of spontaneous circulation of OHCA worsened, EMS response time was prolonged, and advanced airway management by EMS increased in the post- versus pre-pandemic group; however, most prehospital and in-hospital management did not change between pre- and post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chain of survival; Mortality; Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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