Do RATs save lives? A service evaluation of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest team in an English ambulance service

Richard Pilbery, Dawn Teare, Daniel Lawton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a major public health problem, leading to a substantial number of deaths in the UK. In response to this, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) has introduced red arrest teams (RATs). RAT members attend a three-day training course, focusing on the technical and non-technical skills that are required to effectively team lead an OHCA and provide high quality post-resuscitation care. This evaluation aims to determine the impact of the RATs on survival to 30 days and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at hospital.

Methods: All adult (≥ 18 years) OHCAs entered onto the YAS computer aided dispatch (CAD) system between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2017 were included if the patient was resuscitated and the cause of the arrest was considered to be medical in origin. Multi-variable logistic regression models were created to enable adjustment for common predictors of survival and ROSC.

Results: During the 2-year data collection period, YAS attended 15,151 cardiac arrests. After removing ineligible cases, 5868 cardiac arrests remained. RATs attended 2000/5868 (34.1%) incidents, with each RAT attending a median of 13 cardiac arrests (IQR 7‐23, min. 1, max. 78).

The adjusted odds ratios suggest that a RAT on scene is associated with a slight increase in the odds of survival to 30 days (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.74‐1.38) and odds of ROSC on arrival at hospital (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.99‐1.29), compared to the odds of not having a RAT present, although neither result is statistically significant.

Conclusion: The presence of a RAT paramedic was associated with a small increase in survival to 30 days and ROSC on arrival at hospital, although neither were statistically significant. Larger prospective studies are required to determine the effect of roles such as RAT on outcomes from OHCA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
Journalbritish paramedic journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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