Improving CA outcomes

Monday, 02 February, 2015


A research team led by Professor Jonathan Benger from the University of the West of England has designed an important new research study, called PROXY, which has the ultimate aim of improving survival and recovery following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. PROXY will investigate whether it is possible to compare different ways of giving oxygen to patients who have regained a heartbeat following cardiac arrest.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is common, with up to 50,000 cases in England each year. Current survival rates are very poor, even when patients survive to reach hospital only about 30% leave hospital alive. The amount of oxygen given to a patient once their heart has been restarted may have an important effect on survival and long-term recovery.

However, research in this area is largely absent, and current practice is based on expert opinion. The study began to recruit patients attended by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) within Bristol and Bath and the surrounding areas from 12 January 2015 and will run for six months. It has been estimated that up to 80 patients will be recruited to PROXY during this time.

The research is funded by the National Institute of Health Research through a Programme Development Grant, and has completed a rigorous process of external scrutiny and ethics committee approval. The study is also informed and supported by previous survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Central to the study are the SWASFT paramedics, who will be responsible for carrying out the trial, following special training to ensure PROXY has the best chance of success, and that patient safety is maintained at all times. University Hospitals Bristol is the sponsor of PROXY, and the study team will work collaboratively with SWASFT, North Bristol NHS Trust, Royal United Hospital Bath and the University of the West of England. If the study is successful it will be followed by a much larger research trial to inform and guide the future management of cardiac arrest patients in England and internationally.


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