End of the ROC groundbreaking EMS research

Researchers published 60 peer-reviewed journal articles on survival from major trauma and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest


SAN DIEGO — Researching the myriad of details that surround the management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and severely injured patients requires time, patience and resources. It was that complexity that generated the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, a group of 18 medical research facilities in the United States and Canada dedicated to uncovering key factors that influence survival to discharge from catastrophic injury and illness.

After 12 years of intensive work, ROC is to be disbanded once its final projects are completed. During the National Association of EMS Physicians annual meeting, Mohamud Daya, MD, provided a recap of ROC’s impact in EMS research. Highlights from the presentation included these ROC accomplishments:

  • Ten primary and eight satellite clinical sites were involved with 284 fire and EMS agencies worked together to collect research data from a covered combined population of 24 million.
  • Over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles were published, along with 70 research abstracts.
  • ROC research was cited by other publications over 1,500 times.
  • The total investment for ROC was $114 million.

Memorable quote
"ROC’s success is both a top down, bottom up approach. It's crucial to have both leadership and field level providers buy in to conduct effective research." — Mohamud Daya, MD

Key takeaways: Hard won lessons from ROC
The logistics for a project of this size were immense. Daya described several lessons that were hard won by the investigators:

  • Gaining permission to perform research from multiple institutional review boards was a huge challenge. In hindsight establishing a central institutional review board early would have helped the early phase of ROC.
  • For studies of such large size and scope, performing pilot or run-in studies helped iron out unforeseen challenges in collecting the data.
  • Likewise, collecting data from large populations required significant amounts of automation in order to be efficient and accurate.

The greatest take away from ROC is that EMS research is doable and effective. 

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