New data reveals decrease in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in England

Recent findings from the Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO) Registry, funded by Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) and British Heart Foundation (BHF), reveal a decrease in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in England. 

Conducted by the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, the comprehensive analysis uses data submitted by all English regional ambulance services. The new data reveals that fewer than one in 12 patients (7.8%) survive to 30 days after experiencing an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. 

Ambulance services performed resuscitation in 34,407 cases, with only a quarter of patients having their hearts restarted upon reaching the hospital.  

James Cant, Chief Executive of Resuscitation Council UK, said: “Improving patient outcomes from OHCAO is a key priority for Resuscitation Council UK. We want to save more lives and reduce the devastating consequence of cardiac arrest for patients and their families. This report sheds crucial light on survival, CPR and defibrillator trends, allowing us to apply a data driven approach in working to save more lives.   

“We must now focus on addressing the disparities revealed in the data, boosting CPR awareness, and advocating for wider public-access defibrillator utilisation.” 

Key findings also indicate that two-thirds of cardiac arrests occurred in men, approximately 80% took place in people's homes, and 13% happened in public spaces.

Despite over 70% of cases receiving CPR from members of the public, the use of public-access defibrillators remained low - in fewer than one in 10 cases.  

Dr Christopher Smith, Clinical Lecturer at Warwick Medical School and Co-Chief Investigator of the OHCAO registry, added: “Cardiac arrest is the most serious and time-critical medical emergency, but there is a lot that can be done to improve patient outcomes.  

“There is a need to better co-ordinate and implement community-based interventions such as bystander CPR and the use of public-access defibrillators. Such initiatives require high-quality data to identify the scale of the problem and areas where researchers and clinicians can target interventions to have the biggest impact. The OHCAO registry provides and shares this data with the aim of saving more lives in the future.”  

Further information about the findings from the Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO) Registry is available on the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit website

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