Sudden cardiac arrest prediction and resuscitation network: Improving the quality of care
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) causes 2 million deaths each year in Europe alone. Since SCA strikes unexpectedly and is lethal within minutes if untreated, solving this problem requires (1) recognizing individuals at risk and designing preventive strategies, (2) providing timely and effective treatment. Because SCA mostly occurs out-of-hospital, SCA victims rely on first-response treatment provided by citizens, firefighters and emergency medical services. There are large regional differences in SCA survival rates across Europe (1-30%). This suggests that regional differences in individual risk prediction, prevention and treatment have a major impact on the chance to survive. To improve survival rates across Europe it is imperative to study: 1) inherited, acquired, and environmental risk factors of SCA across European regions; 2) regional differences in preventive measures and first-response treatment strategies and their effectiveness. The PARQ Action will facilitate this research by forming a pan-European network of excellence in SCA and resuscitation science. This network includes investigators from different disciplines including cardiology, molecular biology, resuscitation science, emergency medicine, general practice and health economics. The main objectives of the Action are to promote development of standards for collection of clinical data and biological samples and to harmonize data analysis. This will aid in development of risk prediction models based on inherited, acquired and environmental risks. The PARQ action will focus on European differences in first-response treatment and develop guidelines. In summary, the PARQ Action investigators will enable breakthrough developments to decrease the incidence of SCA and improve survival, while reducing the vast regional European differences in survival rates.