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Lay Summary of Project

What are we looking at?

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.

Why are we looking into this?

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.

Who will be working on this?

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

How will the project help?

The study uses existing information collected by ambulance services during the course of their routine duties. Information about individuals that receive resuscitation for cardiac arrest 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 will help ambulance services improve the quality of care for victims of cardiac arrest.

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.

All members working on the project have completed Information Governance training and the project has achieved a satisfactory achievement standard for 2014 for the Information Governance Toolkit Assessment. All staff follow the University of Warwick’s policy on data protection.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact the OHCAO team via the email,


Search the OHCAO website:


Tel: 02476 572725


Warwick Clinical Trials Unit
Warwick Medical School
University of Warwick
Gibbet Hill Road

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