Outcomes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dialysis patients

Alvin H. Moss, Jean L. Holley, Matthew B. Upton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with renal failure are believed to have a poor survival rate after cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but there is little specific information about the outcomes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dialysis patients. To be better able to inform dialysis patients and assist them in decision making about cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the eight-year experience with cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dialysis patients at a university dialysis program was analyzed and outcomes were compared with those of a control group of nondialysis patients undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation during the same time period in the same hospital. Of 221 dialysis patients experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest, 74 (34%) had CPR compared with 247 (21%) of 1,201 control patients (P = 0.0002). Six of 74 (8%; 95% confidence interval, 2 to 14%) dialysis patients survived to hospital discharge compared with 30 of 247 (12%; 95% confidence interval, 8 to 16%) control patients (P = not significant). At 6 months after CPR, 2 (3%) of 74 dialysis patients were still alive compared with 23 (9%) of 247 controls (P = 0.044); this difference was not explained by age or comorbid conditions. Twenty-one (78%) of the 27 successfully resuscitated dialysis patients died a mean of 4.4 days later; 95% were on mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit at the time of death. It was concluded that cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a procedure that rarely results in extended survival for dialysis patients. In discussions about cardiopulmonary resuscitation with dialysis patients, nephrologists should provide this information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1238-1243
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Advance directives
  • Decision making
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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