How common are cardiopulmonary arrests in children

What is the incidence of pediatric cardiopulmonary arrests? 

Schoenfeld and Baker noted that 0.25% of patient visits to an urban emergency department involved management in the resuscitation room. A prospective study by Ong and associates found an overall annual incidence of cardiopulmonary arrests of 59.7 per million children, with the highest incidence, 175 per million children, noted in the youngest age group (under 4 years). For patients admitted to the hospital, arrests occur in about 0.7% to 3% of pediatric admissions and 1.8% to 5.5% of pediatric intensive care admissions. The estimates of incidence of pediatric cardiopulmonary arrests vary by geographic location of the patient population. 


  1. Ong ME, Stiell I, Osmond MH, et al: Etiology of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by coroner’s diagnosis. Resuscitation 2006;68:335-342. 
  2. Schoenfeld PS, Baker MD: Management of cardiopulmonary and trauma resuscitation in the pediatric emergency department. Pediatrics 1993;91:726-729. 
  3. Topjian AA, Berg RA, Nadkarni VM: Advances in recognition, resuscitation, and stabilization of the critically ill child. Pediatr Clin North Am 2013;60(3):605-620.

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