A new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends the establishment of a national registry to track out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA), while boosting involvement in teaching bystander CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to communities. The report highlights that "A national responsibility exists to improve the likelihood of survival and favorable neurologic outcomes following a cardiac arrest. This will require immediate changes in cardiac arrest reporting, research, training, and treatment."
The CARES Program is an OHCA registry that has the potential to serve as the recognized registry for the US. CARES, established through a collaborative effort between Emory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), began in 2004 and has since expanded both nationally and internationally. Currently more than 800 EMS agencies and over 1,300 hospitals in 36 states representing a population footprint of 80 million people participate in the program
"CARES has been able to track improvements in survival and bystander interventions amongst participating communities over time. Our ultimate goal of the program is to serve as a standard platform for quality assurance efforts and improve survival from OHCA," says Bryan McNally, MD, MPH, Executive Director of CARES and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.
McNally goes on to say, "We are excited to see that the IOM has recognized the importance of having a national registry for OHCA. We believe CARES is well positioned to be the registry for the US as we currently cover approximately 25% of the US population and have approximately 200,000 cardiac arrest events in the registry."
The full IOM report can be accessed via the following link: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2015/Strategies-to-Improve-Cardiac-Arrest-Survival.aspx.
The CARES commissioned paper on the public health burden of cardiac arrest can be accessed via the following link: http://iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2015/CARES.pdf.
A recording of the report release webcast will be available within the week at http://iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/TreatmentofCardiacArrest/2015-June-30.aspx.
Currently, CARES is funded by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Medtronic Foundation and ZOLL Corporation. These partners have supported the concept of CARES as a national registry and emphasized the importance of promoting bystander interventions such as CPR and AED use.
According to McNally, registry data suggests survival rates from OHCA are trending in the right direction. With numerous states participating in CARES, and now the IOM supporting a national registry, we hope this message continues to reach more communities to promote participation in the registry and benefit even more cardiac arrest patients.