The research department at Heartlands Hospital recently had a visit from Dr Sam Parnia, assistant professor of critical care medicine at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, where he is also director of resuscitation research.
Dr Parnia leads an extensive research programme in emergency and critical care medicine and has a particular interest in resuscitation of the critically injured brain during cardiac arrest and the post-resuscitation period. He established the AWAreness during REsuscitation (AWARE) international research network in 2008. Heartlands Hospital critical care research department is part of the network and has recruited 16 patients so far into the AWARE-II study.
The AWARE-II study looks at the memories and thought processes of patients who have had a cardiac arrest and their relationship with real-time markers of the quality of brain resuscitation. A number of recent studies have indicated that 10% of cardiac arrest survivors report memories and thought processes from their period of resuscitation. It is possible that patients who are able to recount these experiences may have better patient outcomes in terms of reduced brain damage, improved functional ability and better psychological adjustment to the event.
Dr Parnia spent the morning with the Heartlands Hospital critical careresearch team and said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Professor Gavin Perkins and the outstanding research team at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital for almost five years. During this time, we have successfully pioneered the use of novel non-invasive methods to study brain resuscitation. Today, Heartlands remains an integral site in our international multi-centre network of hospitals that are actively engaged in the study of brain resuscitation and human consciousness during cardiac arrest. I wanted to personally meet the whole team and thank everyone at the hospital for their tremendous efforts.”
Professor Gavin Perkins, Warwick Medical School and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust NIHR Senior Investigator, said: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Parnia to Heartlands Hospital. His work is ground-breaking and we are proud to be one of the centres involved in the AWARE-II study.”
If you want to find out more about taking part in research, please contact the HEFT research and development team on 0121 424 3631.