Non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in rural Taiwan: A retrospective study

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Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) studies are usually conducted at metropolitan medical centres. Because rural studies are rare, our study aimed to assess non-traumatic OHCA prevalence and resuscitation outcomes in rural Taiwan.


A retrospective observational study.


All seven designated community hospital emergency departments (ED) in Nantou County, Taiwan.


All OHCA patients from May 2011 to March 2013.

Main outcome measures:

Any return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival for ED discharge.


In the 23-month period, 850 OHCA cases were reported; 741 (87.2%) were non-traumatic. The overall ROSC achievement rate was 19.7%, with 16.4% case survival for ED discharge. Logistic regression identified that arrest in public (OR: 2.62, 95% CI: 1.19–5.78), witness when collapsed (OR: 2.14, 95% CI: 1.28–3.60), and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by bystander (OR: 2.09, 95% CI: 1.02–4.26) might increase the likelihood of any ROSC; arrest in public (OR: 2.68, 95% CI: 1.10–6.50), witnessed collapse (OR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.24–4.09) and CPR by bystander (OR: 2.79, 95% CI: 1.28–6.05) might also increase the likelihood of survival. For non-traumatic OHCA patients conveyed to EDs via emergency medical service system (EMS), a shorter response time (OR: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.01–1.18) and travelling time (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00–1.09) might also increase the chance of survival.


Compared to previous data from metropolitan areas, ROSC achievement rate was lower in rural Taiwan. Witness presence, response and travelling times affect ROSC achievement in non-traumatic OHCA patients in rural Taiwan.

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