A randomised trial of core cooling versus surface cooling in comatose survivors of prehospital cardiac arrest [ 2003 - 2006 ]

Also known as: The treatment of cardiac arrest patients with hypothermia

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Stephen Bernard (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr William Silvester Ian Patrick Prof Anne-Maree Kelly Prof David Cooper
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Brief description Pre-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a major public health problem that is estimated to cause around one death per thousand adults per year. The aetiology of SCA is usually ischaemic heart disease causing ventricular fibrillation (VF). The current medical response to this condition involves a Chain of Survival, including early call to 000, bystander CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced cardiac life support. Following successful cardiac resuscitation, patients are transported to hospital for further care. Despite this approach and recent improvements such as decreased ambulance response times, outcome remains poor and there are very few survivors who make a good recovery. This proposal is for funding to conduct a randomised, controlled trial, which compares two different techniques of induction of hypothermia in patients who are resuscitated from pre-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Recently available data suggests that the outcome from SCA is significantly improved if moderate hypothermia is used as a treatment of neurological injury. However, the technique of induction of hypothermia requires further research. This study compares core-cooling using large-volume ice-cold intravenous fluid with the current technique of using ice packs for surface cooling, initiated in the field by ambulance paramedics and continued in hospital for a total of 12 hours. This study has the potential to demonstrate a significant improvement in outcome in a common clinical condition, which currently carries a very high mortality rate. This will be the first trial internationally which assess core versus surface cooling initiated pre-hospital, in SCA patients. It is highly likely that with the successful results from this trial that induced hypothermia in SCA patients will become standard care. The use of induced hypothermia could lead to over 500 lives saved per year accross Australia.

Funding Amount $AUD 309,000.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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