Foreword from Professor Huon Gray, Chair of the OHCA Steering Group, England National Clinical Director for Heart Disease NHS England, and Professor Jonathan Benger, National Clinical Director for Urgent Care NHS England.
“Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is attempted in nearly 30,000 people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in England each year, but survival rates are low and compare unfavourably to a number of other countries.
The Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy (CVDOS), published by the Department of Health in 2013, highlighted the potential for many lives to be saved if CPR and early defibrillation were undertaken promptly and more often, and if the whole pathway of care from successful resuscitation to subsequent rehabilitation were improved. Much evidence exists regarding the best practice of CPR and use of public access defibrillators (PADs), which is published in national and international guidelines.
However, patient management following return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) varies significantly. Greater uniformity of practice could improve survival rates and allow clinical services to be better aligned, whilst accepting that individual circumstances often dictate some variation. For these reasons, and in order to respond to the challenge set by the CVDOS, a Community Resuscitation Steering Group was established in 2013.
More recently, an OHCA steering group was convened in order to produce a single consensus document intended to describe and illustrate a good pathway of care for those who suffer OHCA and provide helpful guidance to the newly established Urgent & Emergency Care Networks in England. Where an evidence base or National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) accredited guidance exists, this has been accepted as best practice.
When good clinical evidence is lacking, the group has attempted to provide guidance based on expert consensus in order to contribute to improvements in survival rates from OHCA. We hope those reading this document, and particularly those involved in planning services for this important group of patients, will find it useful.”
Professor Huon Gray
Professor Jonathan Benger