BACKGROUND: Racial and ethnic minorities are at risk for disparities in quality of care after out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest (OHCA). As such, we examined associations between race and ethnicity and use of guideline-recommended and life-sustaining procedures during hospitalizations for OHCA.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study of hospitalizations for OHCA in all acute-care, non-federal California hospitals from 2009 to 2011. Associations between the use of (1) guideline-recommended procedures (cardiac catheterization for ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia, therapeutic hypothermia), (2) life-sustaining procedures (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)/tracheostomy, renal replacement therapy (RRT)), and (3) palliative care and race/ethnicity were examined using hierarchical logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Among 51,198 hospitalizations for OHCA, unadjusted rates of cardiac catheterization were 34.9% in Whites, 19.8% in Blacks, 27.2% in Hispanics, and 30.9% in Asians (P < 0.01). Rates of therapeutic hypothermia were 2.3% in Whites, 1.1% in Blacks, 1.3% in Hispanics, and 1.9% in Asians (P < 0.01). Rates of PEG/tracheostomy and RRT were 2.2% and 9.8% in Whites, 5.7% and 19.9% in Blacks, 4.2% and 19.9% in Hispanics, and 3.4% and 18.2% in Asians, respectively (P < 0.01). Rates of palliative care were 14.8% in Whites, 9.6% in Blacks, 10.1% in Hispanics, and 14.3% in Asians (P < 0.01). Differences in utilization of procedures persisted after adjustment for patient and hospital-related factors.
CONCLUSION: Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive guideline-recommended interventions and palliative care, and more likely to receive life-sustaining treatments following OHCA. These findings suggest that significant disparities exist in medical care after OHCA.