Recent studies have suggested that communities severely affected by COVID-19 had lower rates of sustained return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) in case of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA). However, other effects of coronavirus disease on OHCA outcomes are not known. This study aims to investigate the association between COVID-19 and OHCA outcomes.

This registry study used a US registry of OHCAs to compare OHCA outcomes during the pandemic. The exposure of patients suffering OHCA to the COVID-19 pandemic was considered. The primary outcomes of the study were sustained ROSC, survival to discharge, and OHCA incidence.

A total of 19,303 cases of OHCA were reported during the study. The findings suggested that the rate of ROSC during the pandemic was lower than in the absence of the pandemic (23.0% vs. 29.8%). Sustained ROSC rates were lower in the 2020 pandemic (21%) than during the 2019 pandemic (27.0%).  In communities with high or very high COVID-19 mortality, the ROSC rate was 33.0% in the 2020 pandemic and 28.8% in the 2019 pandemic.  The survival to discharge was lower during the pandemic compared with 2019.

The research concluded that the rates of sustained ROSC were lower before the pandemic and during the early pandemic compared with the 2020 pandemic.