Center for Advanced Practice


Deployment of a Clinical Pathway to Improve Postcardiac Arrest Care: A Before-After Study.

Publication Title

Pediatric critical care medicine : a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies

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OBJECTIVES: Postcardiac arrest care bundles following adult cardiac arrest are associated with improved survival to discharge. We aimed to evaluate whether a clinical pathway and computerized order entry were associated with improved pediatric postcardiac arrest care and discharge outcomes.

DESIGN: Single-center retrospective before-after study.


PATIENTS: Patients who suffered an in- or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest from January 2008 to December 2015 cared for in the PICU within 12 hours of sustained return of circulation.

INTERVENTION: Deployment of a postcardiac arrest clinical pathway and computerized order entry system.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: There were 380 patients included-163 in the pre-pathway period and 217 in the post-pathway period. Primary outcome was percent adherence to pathway clinical goals at 0-6 and 6-24 hours post-return of circulation and to diagnostics (continuous electroencephalogram monitoring, head CT for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, echocardiogram). Secondary outcomes included survival to hospital discharge and survival with favorable neurologic outcome (Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category of 1-3 or no change from baseline). The pre-pathway and post-pathway groups differed in their baseline Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category scores and the following causes of arrest: airway obstruction, arrhythmias, and electrolyte abnormalities. Pathway adherence was not significantly different between the pre-pathway and post-pathway groups, with the exception of higher rates of continuous electroencephalogram monitoring (45% vs 64%; p < 0.001). There was no difference in survival to hospital discharge between the two groups (56% vs 67%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.68; 95% CI, 0.95-2.84; p = 0.05). Survival to discharge was higher in the post-pathway group for the in-hospital cardiac arrest cohort (55% vs 76%; adjusted odds ratio, 3.06; 95% CI, 1.44-6.51; p < 0.01). There was no difference in favorable neurologic outcome between all patients (adjusted odds ratio, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.72-2.04) or among survivors (adjusted odds ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.27-1.43).

CONCLUSIONS: After controlling for known potential confounders, the creation and deployment of a postcardiac arrest care pathway and computerized order entry set were not associated with improvement in pathway adherence or overall outcomes, but was associated with increased survival to hospital discharge for children with in-hospital cardiac arrests.


Adult, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Child, Controlled Before-After Studies, Critical Pathways, Humans, Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome



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