Posted on 05/23/2017
NCAC photo

BETHESDA, MD -- The first meeting of a ‘National Cardiac Arrest Collaborative’ took place on May 11th at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The purpose of creating a formal collaborative is to unify the cardiac arrest field, identify common goals, build momentum, and ultimately improve survival from cardiac arrest with good neurologic and functional outcomes.


The meeting was a follow up to a workshop conducted in July 2016 in Washington, D.C., that explored recommendations of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on improving survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Among other things, the IOM report called for fostering a culture of action by improving public awareness and training, and creating a national cardiac arrest collaborative.


The Bethesda meeting was the first official step toward creation of a collaborative of healthcare, government, and nonprofit organizations that aspire to speak with one voice about cardiac arrest. The primary goal of the meeting was to improve messaging about cardiac arrest targeted to the general public.


The meeting was facilitated by Tom Aufderheide, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Lance Becker, MD, of the Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, both members of the IOM workshop committee. Other IOM workshop committee members in attendance were Dianne Atkins, MD, Richard Bradley, MD, Jeremy Brown, MD, and Marina Del Rios, MD.


According to the IOM report, sudden cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The latest statistics from the American Heart Association indicate that cardiac arrest affects 356,500 people annually outside hospitals and nearly 90 percent of events are fatal.


About 35 people participated in the foundational meeting of the collaborative, including several representatives of the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, National Institutes of Health, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. Other participants included university researchers, government representatives including the U.S. Department of Transportation, and representatives of several nonprofits including the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation, Citizen CPR Foundation, Parent Heart Watch, and Take Heart America.


Richard Bradley, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center and member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, and Clif Callaway, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh and chair of the AHA Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee, were designated co-chairs of the steering committee of the new collaborative. A representative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will also be named as a co-chair of the Steering Committee. Drs. Aufderheide and Becker will serve on the steering committee along with Lana Gent of the AHA, Jonathan Epstein of the ARC and Jeremy Brown of the NIH. The leadership envisions including several government agencies and appointing industry representatives to an external advisory committee.


“We were honored to be invited to the foundational meeting of the ‘National Cardiac Arrest Collaborative,’” said Mary M. Newman, MS, president of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. “We appreciate having the opportunity to have several seats at the table, provide our insights on public awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, and share personal stories of survival.”


Other Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation representatives at the meeting included board members Carissa Caramanis, a social media expert; Robert Davis, a communications director at the U.S Department of Justice; Martin Gannon, a financial advisor; and volunteer, Matt Strauss, who works in law enforcement. Davis, a former reporter for USA Today, presented information on crystallizing messaging to promote public awareness at the IOM meeting last July. Gannon and Strauss described their shared real-world experience at the May 11th meeting: Strauss saved Gannon’s life in 2003 when he was a 17-year-old high school student.


SOURCE: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation