Study Adds to Limited Data on OHCA in Pregnancy

A new study being presented at ESC Congress 2022 and simultaneously published Aug. 22 in JACC: Advances adds to the limited data on rates, causes and outcomes in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in pregnancy.

Elizabeth D. Paratz, MBBS, et al., looked at the number of females who experienced an OHCA either while pregnant or immediately post-partum from April 2019 – April 2021 in Victoria, Australia. All told, there were 154,914 pregnancies during the study period and, of these, a total of eight females experienced an OHCA (average age was 29.9 years; only one was post-partum). None of the eight patients had seen a cardiologist or been to a specialized cardiac pregnancy clinic. All OHCAs were due to an indirect cause, according to the study authors, with 62.5% due to a cardiac cause.

“To summarize, this study identified that OHCA occurs in approximately one in 20,000 pregnancies, with high maternal mortality,” the authors said. “OHCA is commonly due to cardiac causes but with low rates of pre-arrest diagnosis. Our paper is only the third to report on outcomes of OHCA in pregnancy, and the first to utilize comprehensive hospital and forensic adjudication for all cases to ensure wide-ranging case capture.”

Going forward and given limited data, the researchers recommend the “routine addition of pregnancy status to pre-hospital data collection,” noting it would help to support broader global data collection efforts and inform treatment and management.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Postpartum Period, Hospitals, Maternal Mortality, Cardiologists, Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest, Pregnancy, ESC Congress, ESC22

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