We sought to evaluate the impact of a COVID-19 Code Blue policy on in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) processes of care, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality metrics, and survival to hospital discharge.


We completed a health record review of consecutive IHCA for which resuscitation was attempted. We report Utstein outcomes and CPR quality metrics 33 months before (July,2017-March,2020) and after (April,2020-December,2022) the implementation of a COVID-19 Code Blue policy requiring all team members to don personal protective equipment including gown, gloves, mask, and eye protection for all IHCA.


There were 800 IHCA with the following characteristics (Before n = 396; After n = 404): mean age 66, 62.9% male, 81.3% witnessed, 31.3% in the emergency department, 25.6% cardiac cause, and initial shockable rhythm in 16.7%. Among all 404 patients screened for COVID-19, 25 of 288 available test results before IHCA occurred were positive. Comparing the before and after periods: there were relevant time delays (min:sec) in start of chest compressions (0:17vs.0:37;p = 0.005), team arrival (0:43vs.1:21;p = 0.002), 1st rhythm analysis (1:15vs.3:16;p < 0.0001), 1st epinephrine (3:44vs.4:34;p = 0.02), and airway insertion (8:38vs. 10:18;p = 0.02). Resuscitation duration was similar (18:28vs.19:35;p = 0.34). Exception of peri-shock pause which appeared longer (0:06vs.0:14;p = 0.07), chest compression fraction, rate and depth were identical and good. Factors independently associated with survival were age (adjOR 0.98;p < 0.001), male sex (adjOR 1.51;p = 0.048), witnessed (adjOR 2.35;p = 0.02), shockable rhythm (adjOR 3.31;p < 0.0001), hospital location (p = 0.0002), and COVID-19 period (adjOR 0.68;p = 0.052).


The COVID-19 Code Blue policy was associated with delayed processes of care but similarly good CPR quality. The COVID-19 period appeared associated with decreased survival.