Objective: To assess the impact (defined not only with regard to patient outcome but also to record keeping for evaluation of care) of a formal, structured resuscitation team for in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation over the year following its creation. Methods: This is a "before and after" study in which charts of all patients needing resuscitation during the two-year period were reviewed and data arranged in the Utstein Style of in-hospital reporting of cardiac arrests. The review was limited to adults (≥18 years of age) in nonICU settings. Results: A total of 220 events were identified. Demographics and presenting rhythms for the two periods under review were similar. For the period of August 1996-August 1997 (group 1), there were 70 resuscitation events recorded with a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) rate of 21/70 (30%). For the period of August 1997-August 1998 (group 2), 150 events were recorded and the ROSC rate was significantly higher 87/150 (58%)) (P = 0.0002). ROSC after ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia was similar in both groups (50 vs 57%) (P = 1.00) but an improvement in survival was seen in group 2 from events of bradycardia/perfusing rhythm (25% vs 84%) (P = 0.0003). Survival from PEA/Asystole was also improved during period 2 (18 vs 48%) (P = 0.013). Survival to discharge was seen in 3/50 (6%) of patients in period 1 and 18/102 (18%) of patients in period 2 (P = 0.09). Conclusions: The formation of a structured, formalized hospital resuscitation team was associated with an increase in the number of recorded events, in the number of patients experiencing ROSC and in the percentage of patients who were discharged from the hospital. Facilities with no formal resuscitation team or with no skilled, practiced resuscitator on their current team should consider implementation of a similar strategy. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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