We reviewed emergency department records that spanned a period of 5 years at seven rural hospitals to provide more specific data concerning pediatric resuscitation. The purpose was to plan better for preventive programs and to help rural health care providers prepare better for these difficult patients. Patients entered in the study had either cardiorespiratory arrest or respiratory arrest. Although the distribution by age was similar to studies from other areas, the outcome for cardiorespiratory arrests was as bad or worse (70 arrests with 3 survivors), and the outcome of respiratory arrests was as good or better (25 arrests with 21 survivors) as reported previously. Survival of arrest from trauma and accidents was markedly worse (16%) than survival from nontraumatic arrests (44%). The etiologies of the arrests were dominated by sudden infant death syndrome and pulmonary disease but with very few drownings or farmrelated fatalities. This study should encourage rural health care providers to increase efforts in specific areas of trauma and accident prevention. Also, respiratory illness needs to be monitored aggressively and respiratory arrests treated more effectively to avoid the much more consistently lethal cardiac arrests. In addition, more careful prospective study of these patients may be able to identify care patterns that can be improved to increase survival in these groups.
- respiratory arrests
- cardiorespiratory arrests
- pediatric resuscitation-epidemiology
- pediatric survival
- rural health education
- Received February 17, 1989.
- Accepted February 28, 1990.
- Copyright © 1990 by the American Academy of Pediatrics