Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Quality of life after in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation for patients over the age of 80 years
  1. Eleanor Burden,
  2. Lucy Pollock,
  3. Camilla Paget
  1. Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eleanor Burden, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton TA15DA, UK; ella.burden{at}


Objectives Success of in-hospital resuscitation decreases with age; however, national data show that 11.3% of patients over 80 years survive to discharge. There are few published qualitative data about the quality of life for these patients postsuccessful resuscitation. We aimed to investigate postresuscitation quality of life in patients over the age of 80 through a series of case studies.

Methods All patients over the age of 80 years, who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at our district general hospital in 2015–2016, were included. Success of resuscitation, survival at day 1 and to discharge were recorded. For patients who survived to 1 day and beyond, case reports were written to create individual patient stories.

Results 47 patients over the age of 80 years received CPR at Musgrove Park Hospital over a 2-year period. Five (10.6%) survived to discharge. Of those surviving to discharge, two had substantial functional decline, requiring discharge to nursing homes having previously been independent. Of the five families/patients who commented on their experience, only one expressed a positive view. When discussed, the majority of patients/families opted for a Do Not Attempt CPR.

Conclusion Our results have shown that there is a risk of substantial functional decline associated with successful CPR in those patients over the age of 80 years. The majority of patients and relatives contacted after successful resuscitation expressed a negative view of the experience. Our study highlights the importance of having early informed discussions with patients and families about CPR in order to avoid detrimental outcomes and ensure patient wishes are correctly represented.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors LP devised this project. EB and CP collected the data and carried out the analysis. EB drafted the manuscript that was edited and approved by all authors. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplementary information.