Adrenaline (epinephrine) dosing period and survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest: A retrospective review of prospectively collected data

Sam A. Warren, Ella Huszti, Steven M. Bradley, Paul S. Chan, Chris L. Bryson, Annette L. Fitzpatrick, Graham Nichol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Expert guidelines for treatment of cardiac arrest recommend administration of adrenaline (epinephrine) every three to five minutes. However, the effects of different dosing periods of epinephrine remain unclear. We sought to evaluate the association between epinephrine average dosing period and survival to hospital discharge in adults with an in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA). Methods: We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 20,909 IHCA events from 505 hospitals participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation (GWTG-R) quality improvement registry. Epinephrine average dosing period was defined as the time between the first epinephrine dose and the resuscitation endpoint, divided by the total number of epinephrine doses received subsequent to the first epinephrine dose. Associations with survival to hospital discharge were assessed by using generalized estimating equations to construct multivariable logistic regression models. Results: Compared to a referent epinephrine average dosing period of 4 to <5. min per dose, survival to hospital discharge was significantly higher in patients with the following epinephrine average dosing periods: for 6 to <7. min/dose, adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.41 (95%CI: 1.12, 1.78); for 7 to <8. min/dose, adjusted OR, 1.30 (95%CI: 1.02, 1.65); for 8 to <9. min/dose, adjusted OR, 1.79 (95%CI: 1.38, 2.32); for 9 to <10. min/dose, adjusted OR, 2.17 (95%CI: 1.62, 2.92). This pattern was consistent for both shockable and non-shockable cardiac arrest rhythms. Conclusion: Less frequent average epinephrine dosing than recommended by consensus guidelines was associated with improved survival of in-hospital cardiac arrest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Heart arrest
  • Pharmacology


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