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Pneumonia patients at risk for in-hospital cardiac arrest
Date:5/15/2011

ATS 2011, DENVER Hospital patients with pneumonia may be at risk of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, often with few or no warning signs, according to research from the University of Chicago Medical Center under the auspices of the American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines project.

The results of the study will be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2011 International Conference in Denver.

"We found a compelling signal that some patients with pneumonia may develop cardiac arrest outside of the ICU, without apparent shock or respiratory failure," said lead investigator Gordon Carr, MD, pulmonary and critical Care fellow, at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "If this is true, then we need to improve how we assess risk in pneumonia."

Dr. Carr and colleagues used a large registry of in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) from the American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines database to examine the characteristics of early cardiac arrest in patients with pre-existing pneumonia. Of 44,416 cardiopulmonary arrest events that occurred within 72 hours of hospital admission that had complete data, 5,367 (12.1 percent) occurred in patients with pre-existing pneumonia. Among those patients with pneumonia, almost 40 percent of cardiac arrests occurred outside of an intensive care unit. Furthermore, at the time of cardiac arrest, only 40 percent of patients with preexisting pneumonia were receiving mechanical ventilation, and 36.3 percent were receiving infusions of vasoactive medications. The distribution of patients with early IHCA was similar in the ICU and in the general ward. Survival was poor for all groups with early in hospital cardiac arrest.

"While our study design precluded definitive analyses of incidence or cause and effect, our main finding was that some patients with pneumonia and cardiac arrest did not appear to experience a premonitory period of overt critical illness," said Dr. Carr. "Th
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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