Submitted by SCAFoundation on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 10:57am

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is funding the first large scale, multi-center study to help determine the best treatment for children who are successfully resuscitated after a cardiac arrest.

The study, entitled “Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest (THAPCA)”, will evaluate whether regulating the body temperature will improve the outcome for children after cardiac arrest. There is a separate study for children who arrest in the hospital (THAPCA-IH) and children who arrest out of the hospital (THAPCA-OH).

The goal of these two trials is to determine if therapeutic hypothermia improves survival with good neurobehavioral outcome in children who have had a cardiac arrest.

The THAPCA Trials investigative team has worked collaboratively since 2002 bringing together two federally funded pediatric clinical research networks to study this problem. These two networks are the  Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), funded by the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program andNICHD Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network (CPCCRN).

In children, cardiac arrest can occur in the hospital as a complication of many different medical conditions. It also occur, suddenly, outside of the hospital as a result of an abnormal heart rhythm, or an accident such as near drowning, a sudden illness, or being struck in the chest.  There is a great need for better treatments for children resuscitated after cardiac arrest in each setting to improve ultimate quality of life and to prevent long term brain injury or death.

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