Do RATs save lives? A retrospective analysis of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in an English Ambulance Service

Richard Pilbery, M. Dawn Teare



Study aim

This study aims to determine the impact of the red arrest teams (RATs) on survival to 30 days and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at hospital.


A retrospective cohort study analysing routinely collected data was undertaken. All adult (≥18 years) OHCAs entered onto the YAS computer aided dispatch (CAD) system between the 1st October, 2015 and 30th September, 2017 were included if the patient was resuscitated, and the cause of the arrest was considered to be medical in origin. Multivariable logistic regression models were created to enable adjustment for common predictors of survival and ROSC.


During the 2-year data collection period, 15,151 cardiac arrests that were attended by Yorkshire Ambulance Service. After removing ineligible cases, 5,868 cardiac arrests remained. RATs attended 2,000/5,868 (34.1%) incidents, with each RAT attending a median of 13 cardiac arrests (IQR 7–23, minimum 1, maximum 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 results are statistically significant.


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


Out-of-hospital; cardiac arrest; paramedic

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