Cardiac Team Shortlisted for Award

 Monday 24 February 2014

The Rapid Response Resuscitation (3RU) team in Edinburgh has been shortlisted for the BMJ Awards in the Emergency Team of the Year category.

The 3RU team is based in Edinburgh and made up of two doctors, 13 Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics, along with staff from the Emergency Medicine Research Group at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. They have significantly increased survivability rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) in the city.

Working in partnership with emergency medical consultants in at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Service created a specially trained team of paramedics targeted to cardiac calls.

The team collect and audit data from defibrillators for review, analysis and training and undertake ongoing master classes with consultants and a resuscitation officer to continuously improve resuscitation. A small device is also used to measure CPR as it is administered to patients and the data recovered forms part of the learning programme. Called QCPR, the device also prompts changes in technique during resuscitation, if required.

The 3RU project was developed from an earlier cardiac research project called Topcat, in which Dr Richard Lyon worked closely with paramedics in Edinburgh to measure core temperature and the effects of cooling.

The 3RU project was recognised as world leading when Dr Lyon’s presentation on the initiative beat off competition from 400 other abstracts to win the top prize at the European Resuscitation Council Congress at the end of last year. The project was supported by research funding of around £90,000 from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

The average response time in Scotland for a cardiac related 999 call is currently six minutes and last year ambulance crews saved the lives of 523 patients in cardiac arrest.

Over 500 of the QCPR devices will be used for learning by ambulance crews and volunteer first responders across the country.