Prehospital critical care for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

The research project

Survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains poor with survival rate around 8% in the UK.

It is possible that prehospital critical care teams (CCTs) improve survival from OHCA but this has not been clearly proven in existing research.

This three year PhD project will try and answer the following questions:

  1. What exactly is the current evidence for prehospital critical care teams for OHCA? To answer this question, I am undertaking a systematic review of the literature.
  2. Do critical care teams improve survival after OHCA? Intuitively, the answer is yes, but research is not backing this up consistently. I will use routine data from ambulance services in the UK to examine survival to hospital discharge after OHCA.
  3. What actually happens when a critical care team attends an OHCA? We know very little about what CCTs bring to the scene beyond the current standard of care, ALS. I will describe interventions delivered for OHCA.
  4. How much does this cost? To compare treatments with each other and to guide where investments need to be made, we need to understand costs of treatments. A cost analysis, including the costs of using a helicopter will help to assess the value of CCTs.
  5. What are the ethical and logistic issues surrounding research in this area? Compared to other areas of medicine, prehospital care for OHCA is poorly researched, as it is very challenging to do. I will explore these issues by discussing them with stakeholders in OHCA.

The project has been approved by the relevant Research Ethics Committee and the Health Research Authority (HRA). Data collection commenced on 1st September 2016. Individuals with an interest in prehospital care who would like to get involved in one of the focus group discussion – feel free to contact me.