Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic on Pediatric Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in the Emergency Department

Chun Yu Chen, En Pei Lee, Yu Jun Chang, Wen Chieh Yang, Mao Jen Lin*, Han Ping Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in children is a critical condition with a poor prognosis. After the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic developed, the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of the pediatric emergency department (PED) visits have changed. This study aimed to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric OHCA in the PED. Methods: From January 2018 to September 2021, we retrospectively collected data of children (18 years or younger) with a definite diagnosis of OHCA admitted to the PED. Patient data studied included demographics, pre-/in-hospital information, treatment modalities; and outcomes of interest included sustained return of spontaneous circulation (SROSC) and survival to hospital-discharge (STHD). These were analyzed and compared between the periods before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 97 patients with OHCA (68 boys and 29 girls) sent to the PED were enrolled in our study. Sixty cases (61.9%) occurred in the pre-pandemic period and 37 during the pandemic. The most common age group was infants (40.2%) (p = 0.018). Asystole was the most predominant cardiac rhythm (72.2%, P = 0.048). Eighty patients (82.5%) were transferred by the emergency medical services, 62 (63.9%) gained SROSC, and 25 (25.8%) were STHD. During the COVID-19 pandemic, children with non-trauma OHCA had significantly shorter survival duration and prolonged EMS scene intervals (both p < 0.05). Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, children with OHCA had a significantly lower rate of SROSC and STHD than that in the pre-pandemic period. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of PED visits and has affected factors related to ROSC and STHD in pediatric OHCA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number846410
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
StatePublished - 25 04 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Chen, Lee, Chang, Yang, Lin and Wu.


  • COVID-19
  • OHCA
  • children
  • emergency department
  • out-of-hospital cardiac arrest


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