Network gears up to support major pre-hospital clinical trial

Date: 13 April 2015

Time: 01:00

The Clinical Research Network is preparing to support a new study that will answer a key question in the care of patients experiencing a cardiac arrest who are attended by a paramedic.

AIRWAYS-2 is an NIHR-funded study designed to determine the best approach to managing a patient’s airway during an out of hospital cardiac arrest. The UK ambulance service attends over 60,000 cardiac arrests per year with less than 10% surviving to hospital discharge. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with effective airway management improves chances of survival, but there is currently uncertainty about the best way to ensure the airway is clear.

AIRWAYS-2 aims to answer this important question by comparing two devices that are inserted into the trachea (windpipe) to maintain an open airway. It will enroll more than 9,000 cardiac arrest patients and will involve collaboration between four Ambulance Trusts and every acute hospital in the regions served by those Trusts (South Western, East Midlands, East of England and Yorkshire Ambulance Services).

As the intervention takes place outside of hospital, the paramedic, rather than the patient, will be randomized to use one of the two devices. Approximately 1300 paramedics are required to take part. The Clinical Research Network is coordinating and ensuring close collaboration between ambulance services, emergency departments, and intensive care units. The Network has also assisted with study set-up to enable the study to commence enrolling patients in June. 

The Chief Investigator is Professor Jonathan Benger of the University of the West of England in Bristol and the study sponsor is the South West Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust. The Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit (CTEU), Bristol is coordinating the study.

The study is planned to remain open for two years and findings are likely to determine the approach to airway management that is recommended in future national and international resuscitation guidelines

  • Summary:
    Four Local Clinical Research Networks are preparing to support a new study that will answer a key question in the care of patients experiencing a cardiac arrest who are attended by a paramedic.
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