• Regionalised cardiac arrest centres as a means to improve outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK: a literature review

      Miles, Steven (2016-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction ‐ Sudden (out-of-hospital) cardiac arrest (OHCA) is recognised as a leading cause of death in the UK; however, survival rates remain significantly lower in the UK than in other developed countries such as Norway and Holland, which have specialised regional cardiac arrest systems and centres. Aims ‐ This review aims to look at the concept and potential benefits of specialised regional cardiac arrest centres, and to consider whether development of such centres, with bypass protocols to enable transportation of OHCA patients directly to these centres, could improve survival rates and patient outcomes in the UK. Methods ‐ Literature was identified through searching MEDLINE, ProQuest Central, CINAHL and PubMed Central databases, as well as relevant national websites, with the search terms ‘cardiac arrest’, ‘regionalised care’ and ‘out-of-hospital cardiac arrest’. Further screening used the inclusion criteria of publication within the previous 10 years (2006‐2016), English language and peer reviewed journals. Exclusion criteria included duplicated articles, articles with a primary focus on in-hospital arrests and focus on causes and prevention of cardiac arrest. Forty-three records resulted and their full texts were considered and reviewed individually to identify those supported by other sources and containing information to add to understanding of the topic Results ‐ A range of evidence is found to support the development of specialised regional cardiac arrest centres, with bypass protocols to enable ambulance staff to transport directly to these centres. Essential facilities for cardiac arrest centres are identified and potential barriers to development of these centres are discussed. Utilisation of paramedics with additional equipment and skills is considered to enable direct admissions to regional cardiac arrest centres to be effective. Conclusions ‐ Cardiac arrest centres, alongside bypass protocols to enable direct admission, could improve patient outcomes and survival rates for OHCA in the UK. For these measures to be effective some barriers to change need to be addressed and paramedics with additional skills and equipment used. Evidence from within the UK itself appears limited. Further research is needed within the UK, involving a multidisciplinary approach, with close working partnership between hospitals and the ambulance service in relation to development of regional cardiac arrest centres.