During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been significantly higher sudden cardiac arrest incidences and lower survival rates in the U.S, according to findings presented at the hybrid Heart Rhythm 2021 meeting.

The study compared “sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) incidence and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1 to Dec. 31, 2020) to the corresponding period in 2019 in a U.S. community.”

The below is taken from Healio.com

In 2019, there were 314 SCAs in Ventura County (average, 31.4 cases per month; 10-month incidence rate, 36.9 per 100,000 people) compared with 410 in 2020 (average, 41 cases per month, 30% higher than in 2019; 10-month incidence rate, 48.2 per 100,000 people; P < .001). An increase in SCA and COVID-19 also occurred in the area in December 2020.

Researchers found that the proportion of SCAs with shockable rhythm declined from 25% in 2019 to 19% in 2020 (P = .05), as did survival to hospital discharge (14.7% to 8.8%; P = .01).

There were no differences in proportion of SCAs with witnessed arrest (P = .2), bystander CPR (P = .1) and return of spontaneous circulation (P = .15).

“SCA incidence was significantly higher and survival outcomes lower during the COVID-19 pandemic period, with evidence of overlap between the two conditions,” Chugh and colleagues wrote in the abstract. “These findings have implications for community public health and EMS response planning during the pandemic and subsequent outbreaks.”

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