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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7384649, 9 pages
Review Article

Review and Outcome of Prolonged Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

1University of Oklahoma, 920 Stanton L Young Boulevard, WP 1310, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
2Lebanese American University, Lebanon

Received 18 August 2015; Revised 29 November 2015; Accepted 22 December 2015

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ristagno

Copyright © 2016 Houssein Youness et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The maximal duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is unknown. We report a case of prolonged CPR. We have then reviewed all published cases with CPR duration equal to or more than 20 minutes. The objective was to determine the survival rate, the neurological outcome, and the characteristics of the survivors. Measurements and Main Results. The CPR data for 82 patients was reviewed. The median duration of CPR was 75 minutes. Patients mean age was 43 ± 21 years with no significant comorbidities. The main causes of the cardiac arrests were myocardial infarction (29%), hypothermia (21%), and pulmonary emboli (12%). 74% of the arrests were witnessed, with a mean latency to CPR of 2 ± 6 minutes and good quality chest compression provided in 96% of the cases. Adjunct therapy included extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (18%), thrombolysis (15.8%), and rewarming for hypothermia (19.5%). 83% were alive at 1 year, with full neurological recovery reported in 63 patients. Conclusion. Patients undergoing prolonged CPR can survive with good outcome. Young age, myocardial infarction, and potentially reversible causes of cardiac arrest such as hypothermia and pulmonary emboli predict a favorable result, especially when the arrest is witnessed and followed by prompt and good resuscitative efforts.