Welsh Ambulance Service to take part in pioneering medical trial

Monday, 06 July, 2015


THE Welsh Ambulance Service is about to embark in a new trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of adrenaline in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

The PARAMEDIC-2 trial, led by the University of Warwick, is being conducted to identify how best to treat people who have a cardiac arrest to ensure their best chance of surviving.

Adrenaline has been used as part of the standard treatment of cardiac arrests for more than 60 years, but recent studies have questioned whether this treatment is safe or harmful.

This trial will look at whether adrenaline, which can be administered during resuscitation, influences a person’s chance of survival to hospital discharge.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is one of five ambulance services in the UK taking part in the study.

Dr Brendan Lloyd, the Trust’s Executive Medical Director, said: “Research-active organisations promote excellent care for their patients and we strive to provide the best care we can for patients by ensuring that research is a core activity.

“With the Trust’s vision for the future ‘to provide the right service, with the right care, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills’ the need to be involved in research has never been more important.”

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, and is one of the most severe medical emergencies.

Prompt and effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is essential to prevent damage to vital organs, and increases the chance of survival.

If initial treatments, like defibrillation (electrical shocks) and oxygen, are not effective at restarting the heart, some people are given a drug called adrenaline.

Dr Lloyd said: “Given the uncertainty of the evidence and the life-threatening nature of the condition being treated, it is important that we obtain the best evidence we can to provide the best treatment possible.”

The trial was established after the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) called for urgent studies to find out the effects of adrenaline in cardiac arrest.

It was reviewed and approved by the Oxford Research Ethics Committee and, like all research studies run in the NHS, is being conducted in accordance with the Research Governance Framework and relevant legislation.

Members of the public who do not wish to take part in the trial, which is due to begin the week commencing July 13, 2015, can request a stainless steel bracelet, which has the words ‘NO STUDY’ engraved on it.

Clinicians will be trained to look for these bracelets in the same way they do for other medical ID bands.

This means that, in the event that you have a cardiac arrest, you will receive treatment which may include adrenaline.

For more information in the trial visit the University of Warwick’s website.

Listen to the Trust’s Senior Research Lead, Nigel Rees, talk about the PARAMEDIC-2 trial in a new video, which is available to view on our website.

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