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January 1, 2014

Randomized Clinical Trial Progress to Inform Care for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Author Affiliations
  • 1Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Center for Resuscitation Science, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2014;311(1):31-32. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.282174

Approximately 300 000 patients experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest per year in the United States, and less than 10% survive to hospital discharge.1 Regional heterogeneity in outcomes, with a 5-fold greater likelihood of survival following ventricular fibrillation arrest in Seattle, Washington, than in counties in Alabama, has underscored the opportunity to improve care.1 National programs that define best practice around community, emergency medical services (EMS), and hospital strategies to improve care are being implemented2,3 and promise to substantially improve survival. An important element of evidence-based care is therapeutic hypothermia.4,5 In this issue of JAMA, Kim and colleagues6 report findings from an ambitious and successful large randomized clinical trial that provides the first good new evidence in more than 10 years, and the first generated in the United States, regarding hypothermia following cardiac arrest.