- Previous research has found that Black people are less likely to survive after a cardiac arrest compared to white people, however, a new, preliminary study found no difference in the rates for either group in receiving an intensive care unit (ICU) evaluation before a cardiac arrest.
- Among all Black adults in the study, those who received an ICU assessment before a cardiac arrest had 15% increased odds of survival, according to researchers.
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT/5 a.m. ET Monday, October 31, 2022
DALLAS, Oct. 31, 2022 — Although racial disparities in survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest among Black and white people are known, both groups had similar chances of receiving an intensive care unit (ICU) evaluation before a cardiac arrest. Receiving an ICU evaluation prior to cardiac arrest improved survival rates by 15% among Black people, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2022. The 2022 meeting will be held in person in Chicago, November 5-6, 2022, and will feature the most recent advances related to treating cardiopulmonary arrest and life-threatening traumatic injury.
For this study, researchers analyzed data for more than 28,000 adults, ages 18 years and older, who experienced cardiac arrest in a part of the hospital outside of the ICU between 2000 and 2021, from the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines®-Resuscitation registry. Prior to having a cardiac arrest, all of the people had been identified (by a standardized system) to be at risk for requiring more interventions to prevent cardiac arrest.
The study compared how often a specialized ICU evaluation was completed among Black individuals compared to white individuals. Additionally, researchers assessed if that ICU evaluation may have impacted survival among the Black patients. They did not conduct the same analysis on survival among white people, given that its known that survival after cardiac arrest is worse among Black adults compared to white adults.
Among all participants in the registry, average age of 68 years and 42% women, about 2,400 (9 out of every 100) received a specialized evaluation by the ICU team. Researchers found no difference in the frequency that the ICU team evaluated Black or white patients prior to cardiac arrest. Most notably, they found that ICU evaluation prior to cardiac arrest improved survival for Black individuals by 15%.
“ICU evaluation for Black people at risk for cardiac arrest is important because it is already known that Black people have overall lower cardiac arrest survival rates when compared to white people. If there is little difference in the rates at which these ICU evaluations are being done, then it’s critical to further explore what else might drive these disparities in survival,” said lead author of the study Cody Gathers, M.D., a critical care fellow in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “And the medical community should continue to appropriately recognize patient needs and prioritize early ICU evaluation prior to cardiac arrest, especially since our results indicate these evaluations may improve survival significantly among Black adults.”
The study’s findings are not generalizable to people from other diverse racial or ethnic groups. In addition, the study’s findings are applicable only to the hospitals that participate in the database used for this study.
Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based, quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines to make it easier to provide consistent quality care. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 10 million patients since 2001.
Co-authors are Ryan W. Morgan, M.D., M.T.R.; Jessica Alvey, M.S.; Ron Reeder, Ph.D.; Zachary D. Goldberger, M.D., FAHA; Jessica Fowler, M.D., M.P.H.; Maryam Naim, M.D., M.S.C.E.; Amanda O'Halloran, M.D.; Raina Merchant, M.D., M.S.H.P., FAHA; Martha Kienzle, M.D.; Vinay M. Nadkarni, M.D., FAHA; Robert A. Berg, M.D., FAHA; and Robert M. Sutton, M.D., M.S.C.E., FAHA. Authors’ disclosures are listed in the abstract.
The study was funded in part through a 2020 American Heart Association Early Career Investigator grant to Dr. Gathers.
Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. Abstracts presented at the Association’s scientific meetings are not peer-reviewed, rather, they are curated by independent review panels and are considered based on the potential to add to the diversity of scientific issues and views discussed at the meeting. The findings are considered preliminary until published as a full manuscript in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
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 biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers and the Association’s overall financial information are available here.
- Multimedia is available on the right column of the release link https://newsroom.heart.org/news/icu-evaluations-prior-to-cardiac-arrest-increased-odds-of-survival-among-black-adults?preview=739f1cfd039a2158fda506ac52d73ccf
- Link to abstract and AHA Resuscitation Science Symposium 2022 Online Program Planner
- AHA health information: 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC
- AHA resources for professionals: The Source for Quality Resuscitation Science and Education
- AHA resources: Cardiac Arrest Updates: Striving to Improve Outcomes
- AHA health information: Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack Infographic
- For more news at AHA Scientific Sessions 2022, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #AHA22
The American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2022 (ReSS) is an international forum for fundamental, translational, clinical and population scientists and care professionals to discuss recent advances related to treating cardiopulmonary arrest and life-threatening traumatic injury. The meeting is Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 5-6, 2022, in Chicago and will feature the latest scientific research science focused on understanding the shared pathophysiology between cardiac arrest and traumatic injury. The Resuscitation Science Symposium 2022 program is planned by the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation’s. The meeting is of special interest to 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 treatment of cardiac arrest and trauma. Follow the conference on Twitter at @ReSS22.
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.
For Media Inquiries and AHA Expert Perspective:
AHA Communications & Media Relations in Dallas: 214-706-1173; email@example.com
Monica Sales: firstname.lastname@example.org; 214-706-1527
For Public Inquiries: 1- 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)