A third of cardiac arrests in hospital could have been prevented, finds inquiry

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 31 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3735
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Better assessment of patients when they are admitted to hospital and an improved response when they deteriorate could have prevented cardiac arrest and subsequent resuscitation attempts in a third of cases of arrest occurring in hospitals, concludes an inquiry.

A multidisciplinary team that included consultants in emergency care and cardiology from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) reviewed data on all adult patients who had a cardiac arrest in hospital and underwent a resuscitation attempt in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man between 1 and 14 November 2010.1

The team looked at patients’ case notes and at questionnaires completed by the clinician responsible for the patient when the arrest occurred and by the hospital, together with a resuscitation form completed …

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