Treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the COVID-19 era: A 100 days experience from the Lombardy region

Enrico Baldi, Giuseppe Maria Sechi, Claudio Mare, Fabrizio Canevari, Antonella Brancaglione, Roberto Primi, Alessandra Palo, Enrico Contri, Vincenza Ronchi, Giorgio Beretta, Francesca Reali, Pier Paolo Parogni, Fabio Facchin, Ugo Rizzi, Daniele Bussi, Simone Ruggeri, Luigi Oltrona Visconti, Simone Savastano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction An increase in the incidence of OHCA during the COVID-19 pandemic has been recently demonstrated. However, there are no data about how the COVID-19 epidemic influenced the treatment of OHCA victims. Methods We performed an analysis of the Lombardia Cardiac Arrest Registry comparing all the OHCAs occurred in the Provinces of Lodi, Cremona, Pavia and Mantua (northern Italy) in the first 100 days of the epidemic with those occurred in the same period in 2019. Results The OHCAs occurred were 694 in 2020 and 520 in 2019. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rate was lower in 2020 (20% vs 31%, p<0.001), whilst the rate of bystander automated external defibrillator (AED) use was similar (2% vs 4%, p = 0.11). Resuscitation was attempted by EMS in 64.5% of patients in 2020 and in 72% in 2019, whereof 45% in 2020 and 64% in 2019 received ALS. At univariable analysis, the presence of suspected/ confirmed COVID-19 was not a predictor of resuscitation attempt. Age, unwitnessed status, non-shockable presenting rhythm, absence of bystander CPR and EMS arrival time were independent predictors of ALS attempt. No difference regarding resuscitation duration, epinephrine and amiodarone administration, and mechanical compression device use were highlighted. The return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) rate at hospital admission was lower in the general population in 2020 [11% vs 20%, p = 0.001], but was similar in patients with ALS initiated [19% vs 26%, p = 0.15]. Suspected/confirmed COVID-19 was not a predictor of ROSC at hospital admission. Conclusion Compared to 2019, during the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak we observed a lower attitude of laypeople to start CPR, while resuscitation attempts by BLS and ALS staff were not influenced by suspected/confirmed infection, even at univariable analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0241028
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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