Objective: Optimal management of out of hospital circulatory arrest (OHCA) remains challenging, in particular in patients who do not develop rapid return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (eCPR) can be a life-saving bridging procedure. However its requirements and feasibility of implementation in patients with OHCA, appropriate inclusion criteria and achievable outcomes remain poorly defined.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Tertiary referral university hospital center.
Patients: Here we report on characteristics, course and outcomes on the first consecutive 254 patients admitted between August 2014 and December 2017.
Intervention: eCPR program for OHCA.
Mesurements and main results: A structured clinical pathway was designed and implemented as 24/7 eCPR service at the Charité in Berlin. In total, 254 patients were transferred with ongoing CPR, including automated chest compression, of which 30 showed or developed ROSC after admission. Following hospital admission predefined in- and exclusion criteria for eCPR were checked; in the remaining 224, 126 were considered as eligible for eCPR.
State of the art postresuscitation therapy was applied and prognostication of neurological outcome was performed according to a standardized protocol.
Eighteen patients survived, with a good neurological outcome (cerebral performance category (CPC) 1 or 2) in 15 patients. Compared to non-survivors survivors had significantly shorter time between collaps and start of eCPR (58 min (IQR 12–85) vs. 90 min (IQR 74–114), p = 0.01), lower lactate levels on admission (95 mg/dL (IQR 44–130) vs. 143 mg/dL (IQR 111–178), p < 0.05), and less severe acidosis on admission (pH 7.2 (IQR 7.15–7.4) vs. 7.0 (IQR6.9–7.2), p < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis identified latency to eCPR and low pH as independent predictors for mortality.
Conclusion: An eCPR program can be life-saving for a subset of individuals with refractory circulatory arrest, with time to initiation of eCPR being a main determinant of survival.