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Mortality and neurologic morbidity were evaluated in children who were successfully resuscitated after being brought to an emergency room with continued apnea and pulselessness. Of 34 patients studied from June 1981 through August 1984, 27 died during the initial hospitalization and seven (21%) survived until hospital discharge. Of the seven surviving children who were discharged to a chronic care facility, five remain in a vegetative state. Possible explanations for this high mortality and neurologic morbidity are discussed.