• Attitudes among healthcare professionals towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation during COVID-19

      Al-Shiakh, Safinaz; Tran, Quincy K; Caggiula, Amy; Berezowski, Ivan; Barnawi, Basma; Pourmand, Ali (Elsevier Inc., 2021-11-15)
      Background: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) are a leading cause of mortality in the United States. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the landscape of response to OHCAs, particularly with regard to providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). We aimed to describe, characterize, and address the attitudes and concerns of healthcare workers towards CPR of OHCA patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of healthcare workers and trainees in the United States and Saudi Arabia via an online survey available between October 2020, and May 2021. The primary outcome of interest was willingness to perform CPR for OHCA, with confidence to handle CPR for OHCA as our secondary outcome. Results: A total of 501 healthcare professionals, including 436 (87%) with background in emergency medicine, participated in our survey. 331 (66%) reported being willing to perform CPR for OHCA, while 170 (34%) were not willing. 311 (94%) willing participants stated that their medical oath and moral responsibility were the main motivators for willingness, while a fear of contracting COVID-19 was the primary demotivating factor for 126 (74%) unwilling participants. Time series analysis with simple exponential smoothing showed an increase in willingness to perform CPR from 30% to 50%, as well as an increase in mean confidence level to perform CPR from 60% to 70%, between October 2020 and May 2021. Conclusions: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected healthcare workers' attitudes towards performing CPR for OHCA. Confidence levels and willingness to perform CPR increased over time during the study period. Efforts should be directed towards the creation of standardized and evidence-based guidelines for CPR during COVID-19, as well as increasing knowledge regarding risks of infection and effective use of PPE during resuscitation.
    • The relationship of large city out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and the prevalence of COVID-19

      McVaney, Kevin E; Pepe, Paul E; Maloney, Lauren M; Bronsky, E Stein; Crowe, Remle P; Augustine, James J; Gilliam, Sheaffer O; Asaeda, Glenn H; Eckstein, Marc; Mattu, Amal; et al. (Elsevier Inc., 2021-04-07)
      Background: Though variable, many major metropolitan cities reported profound and unprecedented increases in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in early 2020. This study examined the relative magnitude of those increases and their relationship to COVID-19 prevalence. Methods: EMS (9-1-1 system) medical directors for 50 of the largest U.S. cities agreed to provide the aggregate, de-identified, pre-existing monthly tallies of OHCA among adults (age >18 years) occurring between January and June 2020 within their respective jurisdictions. Identical comparison data were also provided for corresponding time periods in 2018 and 2019. Equivalent data were obtained from the largest cities in Italy, United Kingdom and France, as well as Perth, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. Findings: Significant OHCA escalations generally paralleled local prevalence of COVID-19. During April, most U.S. cities (34/50) had >20% increases in OHCA versus 2018–2019 which reflected high local COVID-19 prevalence. Thirteen observed 1·5-fold increases in OHCA and three COVID-19 epicenters had >100% increases (2·5-fold in New York City). Conversely, cities with lesser COVID-19 impact observed unchanged (or even diminished) OHCA numbers. Altogether (n = 50), on average, OHCA cases/city rose 59% during April (p = 0·03). By June, however, after mitigating COVID-19 spread, cities with the highest OHCA escalations returned to (or approached) pre-COVID OHCA numbers while cities minimally affected by COVID-19 during April (and not experiencing OHCA increases), then had marked OHCA escalations when COVID-19 began to surge locally. European, Australian, and New Zealand cities mirrored the U.S. experience. Interpretation: Most metropolitan cities experienced profound escalations of OHCA generally paralleling local prevalence of COVID-19. Most of these patients were pronounced dead without COVID-19 testing.