Survivors and families help set priorities for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest research

February 17, 2022

Dr. Christian Vaillancourt“These priorities will help researchers around the world focus on questions that matter most to survivors and their families,” -Dr. Christian VaillancourtSurvivors, families, bystander responders and healthcare providers were part of an inclusive process to set international priorities for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest research. Having the heart stop suddenly outside of a hospital is an important problem, with around 35,000 cases per year in Canada. 

Historically patients or families were not included in research priority-setting exercises, but the emerging trend of patient engagement is beginning to change that. This exercise valued the perspectives of survivors, family members, bystanders and health care professionals equally. As described in Resuscitation Plus, 10 research priorities were identified through two rounds of surveys followed by an in-person workshop. 

Some of the final priorities include how to improve the rate of lay responder CPR, how survival can be improved in rural areas, what post-discharge support is needed for survivors, and what resuscitation medications are most effective. The priorities can be used by cardiac arrest researchers internationally and will be incorporated into the Canadian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium strategic plan.

“These priorities will help researchers around the world focus on questions that matter most to survivors and their families,” -Dr. Christian Vaillancourt, senior co-author on the paper, senior scientist and emergency medicine physician at The Ottawa Hospital, Research Chair in Emergency Cardiac Resuscitation at the University of Ottawa.

Authors: K.N.Dainty, M.B.Seaton, K.Cowan, A.Laupacis, P.Dorian, M.Douma, J.Garner, J.Goldstein, D.Shire, D.Sinclair, C.Thurlow, C.Vaillancourt

Acknowledgements: The James Lind Alliance and National Institute for Health Research Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre for supporting and approving the Priority Setting Partnership

Funding: This study was funded by the Canadian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. All research at The Ottawa Hospital is also enabled by generous donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.  

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Amelia Buchanan
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Ottawa Hospital Research Institute