Prehospital Predictors of Initial Shockable Rhythm in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

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To identify the incidence and prehospital predictors of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF) as the initial arrhythmia in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in central Taiwan.

Patients and Methods:

The Taichung Sudden Unexpected Death Registry program encompasses the Taichung metropolitan area in central Taiwan, with a population of 2.7 million and 17 destination hospitals for patients with OHCA. We performed a detailed analysis of demographic characteristics, circumstances of cardiac arrest, and emergency medical service records using the Utstein Style.


From May 1, 2013, through April 30, 2014, resuscitation was attempted in 2013 individuals with OHCA, of which 384 were excluded due to trauma and noncardiac etiologies. Of the 1629 patients with presumed cardiogenic OHCA, 7.9% (n=129) had initial shockable rhythm; this proportion increased to 18.8% (61 of 325) in the witnessed arrest subgroup. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 2.45; 95% CI, 1.46–4.12; P<.001), age younger than 65 years (OR, 2.39, 95% CI, 1.58–3.62; P<.001), public location of arrest (OR, 4.61; 95% CI, 2.86–7.44; P<.001), and witnessed status (OR, 3.98; 95% CI, 2.62–6.05; P<.001) were independent predictors of VT/VF rhythm.


The proportion of patients with OHCA presenting with VT/VF was generally low in this East Asian population. Of the prehospital factors associated with VT/VF, public location of OHCA was the strongest predictor of VT/VF in this population, which may affect planning and deployment of emergency medical services in central Taiwan.

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