Multistate 5-Year Initiative to Improve Care for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Primary Results From the HeartRescue Project

Sean van Diepen, Saket Girotra, Benjamin S. Abella, Lance B. Becker, Bentley J. Bobrow, Paul S. Chan, Carol Fahrenbruch, Christopher B. Granger, James G. Jollis, Bryan McNally, Lindsay White, Demetris Yannopoulos, Thomas D. Rea

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51 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The HeartRescue Project is a multistate public health initiative focused on establishing statewide out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) systems of care to improve case capture and OHCA care in the community, by emergency medical services (EMS), and at hospital level.

METHODS AND RESULTS: From 2011 to 2015 in the 5 original HeartRescue states, all adults with EMS-treated OHCA due to a presumed cardiac cause were included. In an adult population of 32.8 million, a total of 64 988 OHCAs-including 10 046 patients with a bystander-witnessed OHCA with a shockable rhythm-were treated by 330 EMS agencies. From 2011 to 2015, the case-capture rate for all-rhythm OHCA increased from an estimated 39.0% (n=6762) to 89.2% (n=16 103; P<0.001 for trend). Overall survival to hospital discharge was 11.4% for all rhythms and 34.0% in the subgroup with bystander-witnessed OHCA with a shockable rhythm. We observed modest temporal increases in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (41.8-43.5%, P<0.001 for trend) and bystander automated external defibrillator application (3.2-5.6%, P<0.001 for trend) in the all-rhythm group, although there were no temporal changes in survival. There were marked all-rhythm survival differences across the 5 states (8.0-16.1%, P<0.001) and across participating EMS agencies (2.7-26.5%, P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: In the initial 5 years, the HeartRescue Project developed a population-based OHCA registry and improved statewide case-capture rates and some processes of care, although there were no early temporal changes in survival. The observed survival variation across states and EMS systems presents a future challenge to elucidate the characteristics of high-performing systems with the goal of improving OHCA care and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 22 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.


  • automated external defibrillator
  • cardiac arrest
  • cardiopumonary resuscitation
  • public health initiative
  • quality improvement


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