Information for relatives, friends and partners
Why is this research study being done?
The ARREST study will help doctors and paramedics decide the best treatment for patients following a cardiac arrest.
Some research suggests that patients who have had a cardiac arrest may benefit if we treat them in the same way that we treat heart attack patients. A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood to your body. Most cardiac arrests happen because of heart disease, which can be undiagnosed.
We often treat those who have had a heart attack in specialised hospital departments known as Heart Attack Centres.
It is already known that certain groups of patients benefit from being taken to a Heart Attack Centre following a cardiac arrest.
The aim of this study is to determine if all patients that would normally be taken to an Emergency Department would benefit more from being taken directly to a Heart Attack Centre by the ambulance service following a cardiac arrest.
Why was my relative, friend or partner entered into this research study without their permission?
Due to the urgent need for treatment we are not able to ask a relative or friend for permission before entering the patient into the study.
Patients who have had a cardiac arrest can initially be too ill to make decisions about taking part in research.
The National Research Ethics Committee London – South East have reviewed this study in detail and have confirmed this research is extremely important and justifies including patients who are unable to make a decision for themselves following a cardiac arrest. Studies like this are absolutely necessary and enable us to improve the quality of emergency care that we deliver to patients.
What happened to my relative, friend or partner as part of this research study?
The paramedics treating your relative would have transported them either to a specialised Heart Attack Centre or to the nearest Emergency Department.
What happened if my relative, friend or partner was taken to a Heart Attack Centre?
They will have received the usual treatment for patients who have had a heart attack. Paramedics will have transported them as quickly as possible to a Heart Attack Centre. The doctors that treated them will have performed a coronary angiogram if they thought that was appropriate. A coronary angiogram is a special x-ray of the heart that helps the doctors diagnose the cause of the cardiac arrest. A coronary angiogram enables them to view the blood supply to the heart and unblock the arteries if a patient is having a heart attack.
What happened if my relative, friend or partner was taken to an emergency department?
They will have received the current gold standard treatment for patients following a cardiac arrest. Their medical care will have been the same as the care they would have received if they were not in this study. Paramedics will have transported them to the closest Emergency Department. The senior doctor looking after them will have attempted to reverse the cause of the cardiac arrest. This may or may not have included transfer to a Heart Attack Centre for a coronary angiogram.
How was the decision to take my relative, friend or partner to a Heart Attack Centre or an emergency department made?
Approximately half of the patients in the study are taken to an emergency department and half are taken to a Heart Attack Centre. Your relative, friend or partner had a 50% (or 1 in 2) chance of being placed in either group.
This was chosen at random by a computer rather than by a doctor or paramedic to remove bias. This is called randomisation. Randomisation makes the study scientifically strong. If randomisation was not used the results of the study would not be as reliable.
I would like to know if my relative, friend or partner was enrolled in this research study.
If you decide you would like to know if your relative, friend or partner was enrolled in this study then please contact the research team by email: ARREST@LSHTM.ac.uk
I would like more information on the ARREST trial
More information on the study can be found on this website.
If you would like further information or would like to get in touch with the researchers please contact the research team by email: ARREST@LSHTM.ac.uk or use the Contact page here
I would like to opt out of this research in advance on behalf of my relative, friend or partner.
Please note we cannot guarantee that you will not be enrolled in the study, but we can ensure at a later date that none of your information is retained for the purposes of the study and we will not contact you in regard to the study.