The Arran caiRRn Project

Developing rock solid rural cardiac arrest care

In 2013 the Resuscitation Research Group in Edinburgh published a ground-breaking study, called TOPCAT 2.  This challenged the assumption that survivability from out of hospital cardiac arrest was low, and difficult to improve.  They showed that by optimising time to defibrillation, and effective CPR, they could significantly increase survivability.

So then, what about out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in rural areas..? To paraphrase the initial comments received by the Edinburgh TOPCAT2 researchers:

Everyone dies anyway, don’t they?

Wait a second, that’s quite an assumption isn’t it?

This video explains their work in more detail:

caiRRn is a pilot project being set up on Arran to take the ground-breaking outcomes from the TOPCAT2 study in Edinburgh, merge them with the ‘Pit Crew Approach’ and develop a model of rural response to cardiac arrests that should optimise management of arrests in the community.  In addition to cardiac arrest management, we expect this to be a great opportunity to develop non-technical factors of inter-agency teamworking in casualty care.  This work will span competency levels from ‘bystander CPR’ to prehospital advanced life support.

Why Arran?

  • Our population is spread over a wide area, bigger than Greater Glasgow, yet it is served by one ambulance
  • There are many other emergency responders (see who else is involved with Arran Resilience) and we have an enthusiastic community
  • There is an active scheme of public-accessible defibrillators across the island
  • Arran Resilience is well set up to support integrated team training, including simulation training that might not normally be possible for one single team to deliver itself
The caiRRN project has recently received a major boost in the form of QCPR simulation mannekins, funded by the Sandpiper Trust.  These are being used to provide responder groups with high quality feedback about CPR effectiveness – great for training, and this keeps CPR skills fresh.  If you’re interested in a visit to your group, please contact Fiona or David for more details.

We also received a Resusci Anne Simulator, which is a hi-tech facility offering mid-fidelity simulation to our health professionals – including GPs, paramedics, hospital nurses and others.

We are grateful to the Sandpiper Trust for this fantastic support.  Already we are seeing the beneficial effect on patient care, of having these resources on Arran.

The caiRRn team is comprised of:

  • Dr David Hogg,  GP / Arran Mountain Rescue
  • Fiona Laing, Lochranza First Responders’ Co-ordinator / Coastguard / Co-ordinator of Arran Public Access Defibs
  • Emma Campbell, Paramedic / Arran First Responders’ Trainer
  • Dr Sarah Stewart, GP Rural Fellow
  • Neil Bulger, Arran Mountain Rescue / HeartStart Instructor
We have already benefitted from the advice and guidance of a number of other individuals.  You can read the full project proposal here.