The clinical courses of 63 survivors of cardiopulmonary arrest were reviewed to determine the incidence and temporal occurrence of noncardiac complications and their relationships to mortality. Complications were grouped as occurring within 48 hours or less, within 48 to 96 hours, or more than 96 hours after cardiopulmonary arrest. Pneumonia, electrolyte level disturbances, and gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage each occurred in more than 28 (45%) of the 63 patients. Resuscitation-related injuries, seizures, and liver function test abnormalities each occurred in at least 18 (28%) of the 63 patients. Pneumonia and liver function test abnormalities were each significantly correlated with increased mortality. Septicemia, acute renal failure, and adult respiratory distress syndrome each occurred in three (5%) to four (7%) of the 63 patients and were always associated with mortality.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:500-503)