Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rate: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Magdalena J. Borkowska, Miłosz J. Jaguszewski, Mariusz Koda, Aleksandra Gasecka, Agnieszka Szarpak, Natasza Gilis-Malinowska, Kamil Safiejko, Lukasz Szarpak, Krzysztof J. Filipiak, Jacek Smereka

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Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a challenge for medical staff, especially in the COVID-19 period. The COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is highly infectious, thus requiring additional measures during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Since CPR is a highly aerosol-generating procedure, it carries a substantial risk of viral transmission. We hypothe-sized that patients with diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 might have worse outcomes following OHCA outcomes compared to non-COVID-19 patients. To raise awareness of this potential problem, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that reported OHCA in the pandemic period, comparing COVID-19 suspected or diagnosed patients vs. COVID-19 not suspected or diagnosed group. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge (SHD). Secondary outcomes were the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival to hospital admission or survival with favorable neurological outcomes. Data including 4210 patients included in five studies were ana-lyzed. SHD in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients were 0.5% and 2.6%, respectively (odds ratio, OR = 0.25; 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.12, 0.53; p < 0.001). Bystander CPR rate was comparable in the COVID-19 vs. not COVID-19 group (OR = 0.88; 95% CI: 0.63, 1.22; p = 0.43). Shockable rhythms were observed in 5.7% in COVID-19 patients compared with 37.4% in the non-COVID-19 group (OR = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.96; p = 0.04; I 2 = 95%). ROSC in the COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients were 13.3% vs. 26.5%, respectively (OR = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.81; p < 0.001). SHD with favorable neurological outcome was observed in 0% in COVID-19 vs. 3.1% in non-COVID-19 patients (OR = 1.35; 95% CI: 0.07, 26.19; p = 0.84). Our meta-analysis suggests that suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 reduces the SHD rate after OHCA, which seems to be due to the lower rate of shockable rhythms in COVID-19 patients, but not due to reluctance to bystander CPR. Future trials are needed to confirm these preliminary results and determine the optimal procedures to increase survival after OHCA in COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1209
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Meta-analysis
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Outcome
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Survival rate
  • Systematic review

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