Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States. SCA kills 325,000 people every year, representing one death every two minutes. Almost all SCA victims die before they even reach a hospital. To identify a drug that paramedics can use in the field, UC San Diego Health System has opened a clinical trial to evaluate two medications to help restore the heart beat.
“Only five percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive their (heart attack),” said Daniel Davis, MD, UC San Diego Director of Resuscitation Science in the Department of Emergency Medicine. “For more than 30 years we’ve been looking for an anti-arrhythmic drug to treat ventricular tachycardia, or what we call shockable rhythm, but we have not found a drug that consistently improves patient outcomes. This clinical trial will help us determine if either the drugs amiodarone or lidocaine may help prevent death.”