Objective: To evaluate the incidence, risk factors, foci, isolated organisms, and outcomes of infections in the survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) within the first 7 days after resuscitation. Design and setting: Retrospective cohort study in the intensive care unit of a university hospital. Patients and participants: We enrolled 117 survivors of adult nontraumatic OHCA victims who survived more than 24 h between January 1999 and May 2004. We collected patients' demographics, the causes and initial electrocardiographic rhythm of cardiac arrest, and the process of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The incidence, clinical presentations and outcomes of infections occurring in the first 7 days after resuscitation were evaluated. Variables were compared between the infected and noninfected patients. Measurements and results: Among our OHCA survivors asystole was the most common initial rhythm (66%). Eighty-three patients (71%) were found to have infection. Pneumonia was the most common infection (61%) followed by bacteremia (13%). Although the Gram-negative bacteria were responsible for most infections, the most commonly isolated organism was Staphylococcus aureus. The infection group had more patients with dementia and noncardiac causes of OHCA. The survival curves did not differ significantly between infection and noninfection groups. Conclusions: Infections were common in OHCA survivors during the first 7 days. The most common responsible organisms were Gram-negative bacteria, and the most commonly isolated organism was S. aureus. Infections in the early stage after return of spontaneous circulation did not change the hospital mortality and hospitalization duration.
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