Clin Ther. 2020 Jan;42(1):121-129. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2019.11.001. Epub 2019 Dec 23.
PURPOSE: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is common in the United States, with >200,000 people experiencing an in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) annually. Recent medication shortages have raised the question of the frequency and type of medication used during cardiac arrest resuscitation. We sought to determine the frequency and quantity of medications used during IHCA.
METHODS: This retrospective, single-center, medical record review was performed at a large, urban teaching hospital. Adults ≥18 years old who had an IHCA with confirmed loss of pulse between January 2017 and March 2018 were identified. A standardized data collection tool was used to extract data from the electronic medical record. The primary outcome was the frequency and quantity of medications used during the IHCA. Secondary outcomes included median time to defibrillation and frequency of sodium bicarbonate use, including among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
FINDINGS: Criteria were met for 181 IHCA events. Demographic characteristics were 71% black, 17% white, mean age of 65 years, and 46% women. Epinephrine was given in 86.7% of the arrests, with a mean cumulative dose of 4.2 mg. Sodium bicarbonate was given in 63.5% of the arrests, with a mean cumulative dose of 9.0 g (1.9 amps). Amiodarone was given in 30.9% of the arrests, with a mean cumulative dose of 311.8 mg. Median time to defibrillation was 2 min (interquartile range, 1-4 min). Preexisting ESRD was present in 24.8% of patients, of whom 71.1% received sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate administration was associated with a lower likelihood of survival to discharge (odds ratio [OR] = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.11-0.66) as well as a lower rate of return to spontaneous circulation (ROSC) (OR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.13-0.95). Magnesium administration was associated with a lower rate of ROSC (OR = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.15-0.98). Of note, in patients with preexisting ESRD, no medications were significantly associated with a change in likelihood of survival to discharge or rate of ROSC. In patients without preexisting ESRD, magnesium was associated with a lower rate of ROSC (OR = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.08-0.77).
IMPLICATIONS: We found that in a hospital with established rapid response and code blue teams, numerous medications that are not recommended for routine use in cardiac arrest are still administered at significant frequencies. Furthermore, substantial amounts of drugs with known recent shortage are used in IHCA. Inc.