Disturbing data are beginning to appear in the medical literature that the success rate in pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is no better, and possibly worse, than the success rate in adult CPR. This poor outcome is especially prominent in children in whom cardiac arrest occurs. This success rate for pediatric CPR is even more dismal when success is defined as meaningful (minimal or no neurologic deficit) long-term survival rather than reestablishment of spontaneous cardiac and respiratory function.
In this issue of the AJDC, Torphy et al1 extend the data that have been previously accumulated from their institution.2 In this study they retrospectively examined the records of all children who presented to the Milwaukee Children's Hospital emergency department in cardiac arrest or developed cardiac arrest while in the emergency department. Patients who sustained only a respiratory arrest but maintained a palpable pulse were excluded. The reason for this exclusion