The epidemiology of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Australia and New Zealand: A binational report from the Australasian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC)
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Introduction: The Australasian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC) out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) Epistry (Epidemiological Registry) now covers 100% of Australia and New Zealand (NZ). This study reports and compares the Utstein demographics, arrest characteristics and outcomes of OHCA patients across our region. Methods: We included all OHCA cases throughout 2019 as submitted to the Epistry by the eight Australian and two NZ emergency medical services (EMS). We calculated crude and age-standardised incidence rates and performed a national and EMS regional comparison. Results: We obtained data for 31,778 OHCA cases for 2019: 26,637 in Australia and 5,141 in NZ. Crude incidence was 107.9 per 100,000 person-years in Australia and 103.2/100,000 in NZ. Overall, the majority of OHCAs occurred in adults (96%), males (66%), private residences (76%), were unwitnessed (63%), of presumed medical aetiology (83%), and had an initial monitored rhythm of asystole (64%). In non-EMS-witnessed cases, 38% received bystander CPR and 2% received public defibrillation. Wide variation was seen between EMS regions for all OHCA demographics, arrest characteristics and outcomes. In patients who received an EMS-attempted resuscitation (13,664/31,778): 28% (range across EMS = 13.1% to 36.7%) had return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at hospital arrival and 13% (range across EMS = 9.9% to 20.7%) survived to hospital discharge/30-days. Survival in the Utstein comparator group (bystander-witnessed in shockable rhythm) varied across the EMS regions between 27.4% to 42.0%. Conclusion: OHCA across Australia and NZ has varied incidence, characteristics and survival. Understanding the variation in survival and modifiable predictors is key to informing strategies to improve outcomes.
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