Background: In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Health distributed guidelines for improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge among hospital staff. The impact of these guidelines on survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unclear.
Objectives: To compare rates of incidence and survival to discharge after IHCA, preceding and subsequent to issuance of the guidelines: 1995–2005 and 2006–2015.
Methods: Data were retrieved from the computerized records of patients who had an IHCA and underwent CPR. In addition, we retrieved data available from the hospital's resuscitation committee that included number, type, methods of training in CPR refresher courses, type and number of audits carried out during the past 10 years, and type of CPR quality assessments.
Results: From 1995 to 2015, IHCA incidence increased from 0.7 to 1.7 per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001), while survival rate did not increase (P = 0.37). Survival for shockable rhythms increased from 15.4 to 30.2% (P = 0.05) between the two time periods. The ratio of non-shockable to shockable rhythms increased from 2.4 to 4.6 (P = 0.01) between the two time periods.
Conclusions: Overall IHCA survival did not improve following the issuance of guidelines requiring CPR refresher courses, although survival improved for patients with initial shockable dysrhythmia. A decrease of events with initial shockable dysrhythmia, an increase with acute renal failure, and a decrease occurring in intensive care units contributed to understanding the findings. We found that CPR refresher courses were helpful, although an objective measure of their effectiveness is lacking.