Ventilation feedback research study

Research trial looks at whether simple device could improve cardiac arrest survival rates

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is about to begin a new research study exploring whether a real time ventilation feedback device can improve the quality of ventilations delivered by ambulance clinicians. 

An out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) occurs when a person’s heart suddenly stops beating.  NHS ambulance services attempt resuscitation on about 30,000 OHCA’s every year but sadly, despite the efforts of everyone involved, less than one in ten people survive.

As part of the ongoing work behind the scenes to improve this, the research team at NEAS has developed the Ventilation Accuracy in NEAS using Zoll feedback (VANZ2) study, which will see ambulance clinicians working from Blucher, Middlesbrough and Redcar ambulance stations using a real time ventilation feedback device when they deliver ventilations during OHCA. 

The aim of the trial, which begins this weekend (Sunday, 1 August) and is expected to last for four months, is to see if the real time ventilation feedback device improves the quality of ventilations delivered, and if this leads to an improved rate of survival. 

The clinicians involved in the trial will only use the device on patients aged 18 or over, who are not involved in a traumatic incident and who are not, or suspected of being, pregnant.   

Research paramedic Karl Charlton, who is leading on the research, said: “When a patient’s heart stops their body becomes deprived of oxygen.  One of the treatments a clinician will undertake during a cardiac arrest is to provide support for the patients breathing, which involves inserting a tube into the patient’s mouth, and squeezing a bag inflated with oxygen to assist or take over a patient’s breathing.   

“When delivering oxygen, it is important to deliver the right amount.  The European Resuscitation Council provides guidance about how much oxygen to deliver with each rescue breath, and how often each breath should be delivered, but there’s currently no way for a clinician to know how much oxygen they are giving to a patient and how often.

“This new feedback device attaches to the tube that is inserted into the patient’s mouth.  The other end of the device connects to the defibrillator screen used by the clinician. When the clinician squeezes the bag to deliver oxygen, the amount of oxygen delivered appears on the screen, so the clinician can respond to any under or over delivery of oxygen.  A five second counter tells the clinician when to squeeze the bag at the right time.

“This study alone won’t change paramedic practice overnight. But we hope that the results will help inform further studies to ultimately improve patient care and lead to improved rates of survival”

For more information, including how to opt out of the study, click here. /our-services/research-and-development/the-ventilation-accuracy-in-neas-using-zoll-feedback.aspx

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