U-M physicians join Institute of Medicine to recommend strong CPR training improvements

July 9, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, News,

The Institute of Medicine recently called for our nation’s health care system to foster a culture of action surrounding cardiac arrest, which means making sure more Americans know how to respond in such an emergency. As the estimated third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind cancer and heart disease, cardiac arrest is a major public health issue.

“There really is no other disease in which the action of bystanders, family or acquaintances is so important,” says Robert Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., U-M’s chair of emergency medicine and the American Heart Association’s lead of emergency cardiovascular care. “We know that bystander CPR doubles a patient’s chance of survival.”

Dr. Neumar was featured in national AP coverage of the CPR training recommendations. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Expand CPR training, including in schools, with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and dispatcher-assisted CPR.
  • Establish a national registry of cardiac arrest to monitor performance.
  • Increase funding for cardiac arrest discovery and implementation research to increase survival rates.

“Working together, we can save thousands of lives every year in the U.S.,” says Neumar.

Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., a U-M interventional cardiologist and longtime researcher on inpatient CPR and cardiac arrest care, was part of the IOM panel that prepared the report.

“Cardiac arrests can be devastating events, but they are also treatable,” Nallamothu says. “Many communities have developed integrated systems of care to provide high-quality treatment and save lives.”

The proposed registry of cardiac arrest would help professionals to identify problems and track progress and best practices nationwide.