Information for patients enrolled in ARREST
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 I entered into this research study without my permission?
Due to the urgent need for treatment we are not able to ask you 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 me as part of this research study?
The paramedics treating you would have transported you either to a specialised Heart Attack Centre or to the nearest Hospital Emergency Department.
What happened if I was taken to a Heart Attack Centre?
You will have received the usual treatment for patients who have had a heart attack. Paramedics will have transported you as quickly as possible to a Heart Attack Centre. The doctors that treated you 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 I was taken to the Emergency Department?
You will have received the current gold standard treatment for patients following a cardiac arrest. Your medical care will have been the same as the care you would have received if they were not in this study. Paramedics will have transported you to the closest Emergency Department. The senior doctor looking after you will have attempted to reverse the cause of the cardiac arrest. This may or may not include transfer to a Heart Attack Centre for a coronary angiogram.
How was the decision to take me to a Heart Attack Centre or the Emergency Department made?
Approximately half of the patients in the study are taken to the Emergency Department and half are taken to a Heart Attack Centre. You 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 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