Award Recognises Edinburgh Cardiac Team

 Friday 9 May 2014

The Resuscitation Rapid Response Unit (3RU) in Edinburgh was recognised last night at the BMJ Awards, winning the Emergency Team of the Year Award.

The 3RU team is based in Edinburgh and made up of two doctors, 13 Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics, a research nurse and a Resuscitation Officer from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. They have significantly increased survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) in the city.

Working in partnership with the Resuscitation Research Group in the Emergency Department of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Service created a specially trained team of paramedics targeted to cardiac arrest 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 project is led by Dr Gareth Clegg, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Resuscitation Research Group, the University of Edinburgh. He said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have received such a high accolade from our peers. Everybody in the team has worked together with an absolute focus on improving the quality of care for cardiac arrest patients.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

“Congratulations to the team for this fantastic accolade, which recognises this outstanding example of multi-disciplinary teamwork that is saving lives. Out of hospital cardiac arrest remains one of the leading causes of mortality across Europe and ambulance staff play a pivotal role in determining the outcomes. We are currently rolling this initiative out to other parts of the country.”

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 the group'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 initiative was supported by a small project grant from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

The average response time in Scotland for a cardiac related 999 call is currently 6 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.