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01.03.2013 | Regular Article | Ausgabe 2/2013

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 2/2013

Cardiac arrest in the toilet: clinical characteristics and resuscitation profiles

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 2/2013
Autoren:
Joji Inamasu, Satoru Miyatake

Abstract

Objectives

The great majority of non-traumatic cardiac arrests (CA) occur at home. The toilet is a closed and private room where CA occurs frequently. However, due to the feelings of privacy that are associated with this room, the circumstances and causes of CA in the toilet have rarely been investigated.

Methods

A retrospective study was conducted to clarify clinical characteristics and resuscitation profiles of patients sustaining CA in the toilet.

Results

Among 907 CA patients treated during a 4-year period, 101 (11 %) sustained CA in the toilet. While the collapse was witnessed in only 10 % of these patients, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was achieved in 41 %. However, the long-term survival rate was 1 %. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that a history of cardiac diseases was predictive of CA in the toilet (odds ratio 3.045; 95 % confidence interval 1.756–5.282) but that there was no correlation with advanced age. The frequency of CA in the toilet may be influenced moderately by seasonal/circadian variations. The 101 patients were classified into four subgroups according to mode of discovery of CA. The frequency of ROSC was highest in those who collapsed in the presence of caregivers and lowest in those whose collapse were discovered later by family members being worried that the patient stayed in the toilet “too long.” Imaging studies revealed life-threatening extra-cardiac lesions responsible for CA, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage and aortic dissection, in 23 % of the patient cohort.

Conclusions

The rarity of long-term survival among individuals sustaining CA in the toilet is mainly due to the delay in discovering the individual who collapsed. Although a history of cardiac diseases is a risk factor, predicting who may sustain CA in the toilet remains difficult due to etiological heterogeneity.

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