Palliative Care Utilization Following Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Pediatrics


Palliative Care Utilization Following Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Pediatrics


Gouda SR; Bohr NL; Hoehn KS


Critical Care Explorations




cardiac arrest; critical care outcomes; do-not-resuscitate; goals-of-care; palliative care; pediatric intensive care unit


OBJECTIVES: Pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Pediatric palliative care (PPC) services could provide an integral component of the comprehensive care necessary for these patients and their families. The main objectives of this study are to examine the utilization of PPC following OHCA and compare the differences in characteristics between children who received PPC with those who did not. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: An urban, tertiary PICU. PATIENTS: Children less than 21 years old admitted from October 2009 to October 2019 with an admitting diagnosis of OHCA and minimum PICU length of stay (LOS) of 48 hours. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of the 283 patient charts reviewed, 118 patient encounters met inclusion criteria. Of those, 34 patients (28.8%) received a PPC consultation during hospitalization. Patients who received PPC had a longer PICU LOS (14.5 vs 4.0 d), a greater number of ventilator days (12.5 vs 4.0 d), and a larger proportion of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) statuses (41% vs 19%). When comparing the disposition of survivors, a greater proportion was discharged to rehab or nursing facilities (47% vs 28%), with no difference in mortality rates (53% vs 50%). In the multivariate logistic regression model, older age, longer LOS, and code status (DNR) were all associated with higher likelihood of PPC utilization. Data were analyzed using descriptive, Mann-Whitney U, and Fisher exact statistics. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates PPC services following OHCA are underutilized given the high degree of morbidity and mortality. The impact of automatic PPC consultation in all OHCA patients who survive beyond 48 hours should be explored further. Future studies are warranted to understand the benefits and barriers of PPC integration into standard postarrest care for patients and families.

Citation List Month

April 2022 List



Gouda SR; Bohr NL; Hoehn KS, “Palliative Care Utilization Following Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Pediatrics,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 2, 2023,