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NIH launches trials to evaluate CPR and drugs after sudden cardiac arrest
Date:1/26/2012

The National Institutes of Health has launched two multi-site clinical trials to evaluate treatments for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. One will compare continuous chest compressions (CCC) combined with pause- free rescue breathing to standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which includes a combination of chest compressions and pauses for rescue breathing. The other trial will compare treatment with the drug amiodarone, another drug called lidocaine, or neither medication (a salt-water placebo) in participants with shock-resistant ventricular fibrillation, a condition in which the heart beats chaotically instead of pumping blood.

The majority of the approximately 350,000 people who have cardiac arrest in the United States each year are assessed by emergency medical service (EMS) providers. During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating, and unless it is restarted within minutes, the person usually dies. Although immediate CPR can be lifesaving, more than 90 percent of people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die before reaching a hospital or soon thereafter.

"Increasing survival rates for people who experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a major public health goal," said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is the lead federal sponsor of the studies. "These new trials could provide critical insight about which resuscitation efforts are most effective for cardiac arrest."

The trials will serve a combined population of nearly 21 million people from diverse urban, suburban, and rural regions across the U.S. and Canada.

The CCC trial will compare survival-to-hospital-discharge rates for two CPR approaches delivered by paramedics and fire fighters. Persons experiencing cardiac arrest will be randomly assigned to receive continuous chest compressions, or standard CPR by emergency responders. Standard CPR, the approach rec
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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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