Drug or placebo to be used on patients who can’t be revived with defibrillator

Using CPR, defibrillators and medications, he says, “we try 100 patients, and we get 10 of them back if we’re lucky. Why can’t we get back 20, 30 or 40?”

In the next three years, about 400 people on the brink of death will be part of a study for which they did not volunteer.

In Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County paramedics responding to unconscious people in cardiac arrest will administer CPR, then shock with a defibrillator. That’s standard procedure, but if that doesn’t work, a paramedic will pull open a mystery packet of unlabeled syringes for injection.

Inside will be either one of two heart-rhythm medications, or saline solution — salt water.

Neither paramedics nor doctors will be told what the syringes contained. Researchers later will use bar codes on the syringe to see if survival rates differ between them.

This article is located at: https://www.columbian.com/news/2012/jul/22/emergency-heart-drug-study-include-clark-county/

If that sounds ethically dubious and like a roll of the dice for the patient, then Dr. Mohamud Daya of Oregon Health & Science University would like to welcome you to emergency cardiac arrest care today.

“That’s the sad part about EMS,” he says. “We’re to some extent doing things without really any solid evidence to know what we’re doing.”

The study is the latest in a series of its kind and expects to include 3,000 cardiac arrests around the country. The goal: determine the best way to revive a heart that stops pumping blood, quivering randomly instead — called ventricular fibrillation. The two heart rhythm drugs, Amiodarone and Lidocaine, have been used for years. Sudden cardiac arrest, often associated with ventricular fibrillation, strikes more than 300,000 people a year in the U.S.

Normally research rules require that study subjects to consent in advance. But years ago new federal regulations allowed studies such as this one as long as measures are taken to alert the public, including public hearings. Those wanting to make sure they aren’t part of the study can call 503-494-8083 or email roc@ohsu.edu to get a free metal bracelet bearing the words “No Study.”

For further information please read the article above at: https://www.columbian.com/news/2012/jul/22/emergency-heart-drug-study-include-clark-county/

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