Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the patient with cancer
The records of 114 cancer patients suffering cardiopulmonary arrests (CPA) during a 3-year period at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) were retrospectively reviewed to identify variables predicting final outcome in these patients. Although 65.7% of the patients were successfully resuscitated, only 12 (10.5%) were discharged alive from the hospital. Median survival after discharge was 150 days. By univariate and multivariate analysis, the only variable predicting the likelihood of a patient's being discharged alive after a CPA was the performance status of the patient at the time of admission to the hospital. Thus, a patient spending more than 50% of the time in bed at the time of admission had only a 2.3% chance of being discharged alive after CPA. A thorough discussion of these findings between physicians and patients and their families is strongly recommended at the time of admission to spare cancer patients unnecessary invasive resuscitative procedures.