Sudden cardiac arrest: Research and awareness in Australia

A new research study about to launch in Australia will test the effectiveness of intravenous cold saline treatment, administered by paramedics, to reduce brain injury in victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

In the RINSE (Rapid Infusion of Cold Normal SalineE) study, Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics will administer cold saline solution during resuscitation.
The program is slated to run for more than 2 years and involve more than 2500 adult patients, half of whom will receive the experimental cooling treatment. The study is a join effort by researchers at Monash University and MICA, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. It will involve ambulance services in Victoria and in parts of South Australia and Western Australia.
Victoria health officials told that Victoria is a leader in improving outcomes for those sudden cardiac arrest victims who can be treated using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

“In 2003-2004, 39 per cent of cardiac arrest patients presenting with a shockable rhythm survived to hospital and 14 per cent got to go home. In metropolitan Melbourne, that figure has now jumped to 60 per cent of patients arriving at hospital with vital signs and almost one in three patients surviving to discharge,” according to the report.
In Queensland, The Westerner reports the story of a group of parents have formed an organization to raise awareness of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), a hereditary condition that is one of the causes of sudden cardiac arrest. Three local children died of SADS, including Tara Fielding, an athletic 18-year-old. Tara’s mother, Cheryl Fielding, is a cardiac nurse but said she had never heard of SADS until it claimed her daughter.
Cheryl Fielding aims to increase public awareness of the hereditary heart condition and what can be done to prevent SADS-related deaths. The group, SADS Australia, is campaigning to have cardiac screening for school children and athletes and to have AEDs placed in schools and sports facilities.

Posted on November 18, 2010