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Key information


Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO)

Chief Investigator: Professor Gavin Perkins

Sponsor: Warwick Medical School, National Ambulance Service Medical Directors

Funder: British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council (UK)

Registration Number: ISRCTN10428536


Cardiac arrest is the term used to describe sudden cessation of heart function. After cardiac arrest occurs, blood stops being circulated to the vital organs and consciousness is lost within seconds. Unless resuscitation is started promptly death will occur within a few minutes. Each year about 30,000 people receive resuscitation for an Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) in the United Kingdom (UK). Only one in every twenty people that have a cardiac arrest survive to go home from hospital.

Information collected by the Department of Health has shown large differences in the number of people that survive an OHCA depending on where they live. In simple terms people in some parts of the country are twice or three times more likely to survive than in other areas.

This project is working with UK Ambulance Services to try and find out the reasons behind such big differences in survival. It has develop a standard way of collecting information about OHCA and for finding out if a resuscitation attempt was successful.

The study uses existing information collected by ambulance services during the course of their routine duties. Information about individuals that receive resuscitation for OHCA will be securely transferred to researchers at the University of Warwick.

The information will be used to obtain a better understanding of why survival rates vary so widely. It will work out which are the most effective treatments and help ambulance services improve the quality of care for victims of OHCA.

The project has received approvals from both the National Research Ethics and Confidentiality Advisory Group to collect sensitive data via the secure web server. Only data that has been mapped/transformed and agreed by the Trusts will be imported. All other data is ignore, never copied, stored and deleted later.

Sample size:

Ths OHCAO is a prospective study, collecting Information on all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK

Primary outcome:

Cardiac Arrest


Current funding to 2018

Resuscitation to Recovery - A National Framework


RTR Front Page

A new report, Resuscitation to Recovery, has just been published by the British Heart Foundation that provides a National Framework to improve care of people suffereing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in England. The document aims to integrate the current recommendations and to describe the optimal clinical pathway for patients with OHCA. Among a number of interventions the report states that:

"Data should be submitted to the national Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO)
Registry so that performance and progress towards improved survival rates
can be monitored
and unwarranted variation can be addressed; appropriate local
resources must be allocated
for these audit purposes."

The report also recommends that a multidisciplinary approach based on the 'Chain of Survival' is needed to provide rapid and effective care and to give patients the best chance of recovery.

Initial Results of the Scottosh Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Data Linkage Project

SCAS Data Linkage Report

In 2015 the Scottish Government launched a National Strategy for OHCA, a collaboration of Scotland's emergency services, Third Sector, NHS, Academic Partners and the Government. The aim of the strategy is to save 1000 additional lives in Scotland by 2020. To do this a mechanism to measure current system performance, identify areas for improvement and track progress. Information required for this spans multiple agencies and so assembling meaningful data requiers the synthesis of information from a range of 'silos'. This report presents initial results of the Scottish OHCA data linkage project, that links information from Scottish Ambulance, A&E, intensive care units, inpatient day care, death register and other sources.

Restart a Heart Day 2017

The Resuscitation Council (UK) and British Heart Foundation organised the Restart a Heart Day 2017 and of course OHCAO was unable to stay away. We supplied the BHF with our latest data on the importance of bystander CPR and our Senior Research Fellow Dr Clair Hawkes spoke to BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire about our findings so far.
If you would like to listen to Claire on the radio, please follow this link to the Phil Upton show on Monday, 16th October. The interview with Claire is at the end of this show.

A number of newspapers and news websites reported on our findings, for example:

ITV News

Cardiovascular Business

Southern Daily Echo

Health Medicine Network

Iran Daily News







OHCAO Project Resource
Tel: 02476 575923