The survival after the cardiac arrest at the Kenyatta National Hospital
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The records of 450 patients who required cardiopulmonary resuscitation during the period 1974-1980 are reviewed. All suffered cardio-pulmonary arrest, and the results of treatment are expressed in terms of length of survival. One hundred fifty nine patients (35.6%) responded to the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation initially. Out of this, 115 patients (72.33%) died in the hospital later; 44 (8.9%) who were hospitalised for another one month, after cardio-pulmonary arrest, and then discharged, were considered long survivors. The chances of successful resuscitation were greater in patients with ischaemic heart disease (20% survived); undergoing anaesthesia (20% survived); and those with drug overdose (15.5% survived). Patients with ventricular fibrilation as the primary electro-cardiographic finding had better prog~osis as compared to those with asystole. Resuscitation in patients with progressive metabolic and respiratcry failure, and multiple episodes of cardiac arrests, was associated with poor prognosis. Low survival rates were also found in children under ten years of age. About eleven percent of all the survivors developed residual brain damage with marked intelectual impairment, including 2 patients with psychiatric problems.