Time to awakening and neurologic outcome in therapeutic hypothermia-treated cardiac arrest patients

Anne Victoria GrossestreuerDavid Foster Gaieski


Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has been shown to improve outcomes in comatose Post-Cardiac Arrest Syndrome (PCAS) patients. It is unclear how long it takes these patients to regain neurologic responsiveness post-arrest. We sought to determine the duration to post-arrest awakening and factors associated with times to such responsiveness. We performed a retrospective chart review of consecutive TH-treated PCAS patients at three hospitals participating in a US cardiac arrest registry from 2005 to 2011. We measured the time from arrest until first documentation of "awakening", defined as following commands purposefully. We included 194 consecutive TH-treated PCAS patients; mean age was 57±16 years; 59% were male; 40% had an initial shockable rhythm. Mean cooling duration was 24±8h and mean rewarming time was 14±13h. Survival to discharge was 44%, with 78% of these discharged with a good neurologic outcome. Of the 85 patients who awakened, median time to awakening was 3.2 days (IQR 2.2, 4.5) post-cardiac arrest. Median time to awakening for a patient discharged in good neurological condition was 2.8 days (IQR 2.0, 4.5) vs. 4.0 days (IQR 3.5, 7.6) for those who survived to discharge without a good neurological outcome (p=0.035). There ...Continue Reading


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