County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close
High Contrast Sitemap

Award-winning project cuts cardiac arrests (3)

A PIONEERING six-year project has led to cardiac arrests among hospital patients in the North-East being cut by nearly a half.

Cardiac Prevention

And the initiative by the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised with an award at the International Rapid Response Systems Conference in Manchester.

The project was launched by the Cardiac Arrest Prevention team in April 2012 and new figures show a 46 per cent reduction in cardiac arrests in the trust's hospitals.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating as a whole, whereas a heart attack is when the blood supply to part of the heart stops and causes a section of the heart muscle to begin to die.

The first stage of the trust's initiative was to collect as much data as possible about cardiac arrest emergency calls, analysing when, where and why they were happening.

Team members even took turns to collect the data, via long-range pagers, when they were not on duty. Meanwhile, the innovative introduction of an electronic observation system, using Nervecentre software, enabled staff to have up to date information at their finger-tips at all times.

Then, the data collection phase was followed by an in-depth review of each case so that learning needs could be identified, both in specific areas, and trust-wide.

The data analysis also helped build the case for the launch at the end of 2016 of the "Acute Intervention Team", a new approach to providing round-the-clock rapid response care for the sickest hospital patients. It was the first time nurses and health care assistants had been brought together in a team trained by specialist consultants, and the team supported ward staff in providing greater expertise in caring for deteriorating patients.

One particular area of success was the management of sepsis, which takes hold when an infection gets into the bloodstream and can lead to organ failure.

Lisa Ward, Early Detection and Resuscitation Lead Nurse, said: "We shone a light on the issue, but the clinical teams deserve huge credit for bringing about such a big reduction. It's something we've been aiming to achieve for six years and we're really proud of the results."

Claire Stocks, Senior Sister in the Cardiac Prevention Team, added: "Once the case was made through the data analysis, we had great support from senior management, and it has just been a great example of teamwork, with everyone pulling in the same direction."



Published 15th August 2018

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham