Background Multicenter data regarding cardiac arrest in children undergoing heart operations are limited. We describe epidemiology and outcomes associated with postoperative cardiac arrest in a large multiinstitutional cohort.
Methods Patients younger than 18 years in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (2007 through 2012) were included. Patient factors, operative characteristics, and outcomes were described for patients with and without postoperative cardiac arrest. Multivariable models were used to evaluate the association of center volume with cardiac arrest rate and mortality after cardiac arrest, adjusting for patient and procedural factors.
Results Of 70,270 patients (97 centers), 1,843 (2.6%) had postoperative cardiac arrest. Younger age, lower weight, and presence of preoperative morbidities (all p < 0.0001) were associated with cardiac arrest. Arrest rate increased with procedural complexity across common benchmark operations, ranging from 0.7% (ventricular septal defect repair) to 12.7% (Norwood operation). Cardiac arrest was associated with significant mortality risk across procedures, ranging from 15.4% to 62.3% (all p < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, arrest rate was not associated with center volume (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.71 to 1.57 in low- versus high-volume centers). However, mortality after cardiac arrest was higher in low-volume centers (odds ratio, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.52 to 2.63). This association was present for both high- and low-complexity operations.
Conclusions Cardiac arrest carries a significant mortality risk across the stratum of procedural complexity. Although arrest rates are not associated with center volume, lower-volume centers have increased mortality after cardiac arrest. Further study of mechanisms to prevent cardiac arrest and to reduce mortality in those with an arrest is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine