(HealthDay News) – For patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest, the duration of resuscitation attempts varies between hospitals, with increased duration of resuscitation linked to improved survival, according to a study published online Sept 5 in The Lancet.

Using data from 64,339 patients with cardiac arrest at 435 U.S. hospitals, Zachary D Goldberger, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the between-hospital variation in the duration of resuscitation and the correlation between duration of resuscitation and survival rates.

The researchers found that 48.5% of participants achieved a return of spontaneous circulation, and survival to discharge was experienced by 15.4% of patients. The median duration of resuscitation was 12 minutes for those who achieved return of spontaneous circulation, compared to 20 minutes for non-survivors. The likelihood of return of spontaneous circulation and survival to discharge were increased for patients at hospitals in the quartile with the longest median resuscitation attempts (25 minutes), vs. those in hospitals in the quartile with the shortest median resuscitation attempts in non-survivors (16 minutes) (adjusted risk ratio, 1.12 for both).

“Our findings, which are based on data from the largest representative sample of patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest in the USA, provide empirical evidence that clinical practice still varies greatly and suggest that standardization of a minimum length for resuscitation attempts could improve survival,” the authors write. “Prolongation of resuscitation attempts by 10 or 15 minutes might have only slight effects on resources once efforts have already begun, but could improve outcomes.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Medtronic and UnitedHealth.

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