The ACCESS Trial is a national, multi-center research study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. IU School of Medicine is one of more than 20 participating sites, led by the University of Minnesota. The study aims to determine the best method of care for survival and neurological recovery for patients resuscitated after cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) outside of the hospital, but who have no evidence of a heart attack on a heart scan, called an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Sudden cardiac arrest occurring outside of the hospital setting is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is an immediate electrical malfunction (arrhythmia) of the heart. This event disrupts heart pumping, which in turn stops blood flow to the rest of the body.
Eighty percent of cardiac arrest survivors suffer cardiac arrest due to arrhythmias known as ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). VT/VF cardiac arrests have the highest survival rate and the greatest opportunity for improvement in treatment and health outcomes for this devastating public health problem.