Background:A better understanding of the epidemiology of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) occurring in school settings is important to establish an evidence-based strategy for prevention and better prognosis.
Methods and Results:The Stop and Prevent cardIac aRrest, Injury, and Trauma in Schools (SPIRITS) is a nationwide prospective observational study linking databases from 2 nationally representative registries, the Injury and the Accident Mutual Aid Benefit System of The Japan Sport Council and the All-Japan Utstein Registry of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Using these databases, we described the detailed characteristics and outcomes of pediatric OHCAs that occurred in school settings in Japan between 2009 and 2014. During the 6-year study period, 295 OHCA cases were confirmed. Overall incidence rate was 0.4 per 100,000 students per year. The majority of OHCA cases had a cardiac origin (71%), occurred during exercise (65%), were witnessed by bystanders (70%), and received bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (73%). In approximately one-third of cases the student was defibrillated by public-access automated external defibrillator (38%). The proportion of patients with 1-month survival and a favorable neurological outcome was 34% among all OHCAs and 43% among OHCAs of cardiac origin.
Conclusions:In Japan, approximately 50 pediatric cases of OHCA consistently occur yearly in school settings. The majority of students received basic life support from bystanders, and patients with OHCA of cardiac origin had a relatively good prognosis.