Building research capacity, harnessing data and strengthening health systems to improve outcomes in community emergency & unscheduled care in Ireland

This research project aims to improve systems of community emergency care by focusing on a condition called Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA). OHCA is an emergency where a person’s heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body. It happens without warning, often because of an abnormal heart rhythm. In Ireland 2500 people suffer this condition every year.  Survival is possible when quick treatments are available. The treatments that make the most difference are CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and early defibrillation (providing an electrical ‘shock’ to the heart) with an AED (automatic external defibrillator).

Currently the survival in Ireland is low at less than 7%. Community and health systembased initiatives are trying to improve this; Although we know many of the treatments that work best in 'OHCA' designing a health system that gets these treatments to the right person at the right time and provides appropriate follow on care is a challenge.

Ireland collects high quality information about OHCA via an organisation called the Out-of- Hospital Cardiac Arrest Registry (OHCAR) . We plan for the first time to link data from OHCAR with other important data about the Irish population (from the Central Statistics Office Census) and with data about emergency care resources that respond to and treat OHCA. All data will be anonymized so that no individual patient or carer can be identified.
We will specifically look at groups of patients considered most likely to survive and then use novel computer programs to explore how a range of different patient, community and health system factors interact to influence whether or not survival actually occurred. Ultimately we will use this information to design and build better health systems that increase the amount of people that survive OHCA in Ireland. Improving our response to OHCA will also benefit other time critical emergency conditions.

Award Date
26 June 2020
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Tomás Barry
Host Institution
University College Dublin
CSF 2020