Importance: Risk factors for out-of-hospital death due to novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are poorly defined. From March 1 to April 25, 2020, New York City, New York (NYC), reported 17118 COVID-19-related deaths. On April 6, 2020, out-of-hospital cardiac arrests peaked at 305 cases, nearly a 10-fold increase from the prior year. Objective: To describe the characteristics (race/ethnicity, comorbidities, and emergency medical services [EMS] response) associated with outpatient cardiac arrests and death during the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based, cross-sectional study compared patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receiving resuscitation by the NYC 911 EMS system from March 1 to April 25, 2020, compared with March 1 to April 25, 2019. The NYC 911 EMS system serves more than 8.4 million people. Exposures: The COVID-19 pandemic. Main Outcomes and Measures: Characteristics associated with out-of-hospital arrests and the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Results: A total of 5325 patients were included in the main analysis (2935 men [56.2%]; mean [SD] age, 71  years), 3989 in the COVID-19 period and 1336 in the comparison period. The incidence of nontraumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in those who underwent EMS resuscitation in 2020 was 3 times the incidence in 2019 (47.5/100000 vs 15.9/100000). Patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during 2020 were older (mean [SD] age, 72  vs 68  years), less likely to be white (611 of 2992 [20.4%] vs 382 of 1161 [32.9%]), and more likely to have hypertension (2134 of 3989 [53.5%] vs 611 of 1336 [45.7%]), diabetes (1424 of 3989 [35.7%] vs 348 of 1336 [26.0%]), and physical limitations (2259 of 3989 [56.6%] vs 634 of 1336 [47.5%]). Compared with 2019, the odds of asystole increased in the COVID-19 period (odds ratio [OR], 3.50; 95% CI, 2.53-4.84; P <.001), as did the odds of pulseless electrical activity (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.31-3.02; P =.001). Compared with 2019, the COVID-19 period had substantial reductions in return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) (727 of 3989 patients [18.2%] vs 463 of 1336 patients [34.7%], P <.001) and sustained ROSC (423 of 3989 patients [10.6%] vs 337 of 1336 patients [25.2%], P <.001), with fatality rates exceeding 90%. These associations remained statistically significant after adjustment for potential confounders (OR for ROSC, 0.59 [95% CI, 0.50-0.70; P <.001]; OR for sustained ROSC, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.43-0.64; P <.001]). Conclusions and Relevance: In this population-based, cross-sectional study, out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased compared with the same period the previous year and were associated with older age, nonwhite race/ethnicity, hypertension, diabetes, physical limitations, and nonshockable presenting rhythms. Identifying patients with the greatest risk for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and death during the COVID-19 pandemic should allow for early, targeted interventions in the outpatient setting that could lead to reductions in out-of-hospital deaths.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine