Weekend sudden cardiac arrests are more deadly

November 11, 2019

DALLAS, Nov. 11, 2019 -- People who experience cardiac arrests over the weekend are less likely to survive long enough to be admitted to a hospital, compared to those who had the same medical event on a weekday, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association's Resuscitation Science Symposium 2019 -- November 16-17 in Philadelphia.

U.K. researchers investigated "survival-to-hospital admission" for patients who suffered an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest and were treated by a publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED). They analyzed data of nearly 3,000 patients worldwide and noted that 27% survived to hospital admission, in line with other independent studies. Overall, researchers found that patients who suffered a cardiac arrest between 12 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday were about 20% less likely to survive than those patients who suffered a cardiac arrest between Monday and Friday. Survival also decreased for cardiac arrests occurring at home and as the patient's age increased.

"It is often said that sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. These results suggest that there is an opportunity to address sudden cardiac arrests that occur during the weekend by improving AED awareness, availability and training and quick response by rescuers," said Hannah Torney, the study's lead author, who is studying for her Ph.D. at Ulster University in Northern Ireland and is a clinical engineer at HeartSine Technologies/Stryker in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Researchers noted weekend survival may be reduced because individuals may be less likely to be near a publicly accessible AED and their sudden cardiac arrests may not be witnessed. They added that this data analysis could help guide the strategic placement of AEDs to improve accessibility.
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Additional Resources:Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Association policy or position. The Association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

The American Heart Association's Resuscitation Science Symposium (ReSS) is a premier global exchange providing transdisciplinary interactions that rapidly translate advances in the resuscitation field from fundamental to translational to clinical to population science. For the first time, the 2019 Resuscitation Science Symposium will be a two-day international stand-alone conference, Nov. 16-17 at The Philadelphia 201 Hotel in Philadelphia. The audience will include emergency physicians, trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, cardiologists, critical-care nurses, intensivists, emergency medical providers, resuscitation educators and researchers with basic, bioengineering, clinical or other experience related to treating cardiac arrest and trauma.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

American Heart Association

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