Paramedic Ultrasound in Cardiac Arrest (PUCA)

PUCA – Paramedic Ultrasound in Cardiac Arrest
Introducing point-of-care Echocardiography in Life Support (ELS) into cardiac arrest care.

In December 2013, the Resuscitation Research Group (RRG), the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMeRGE) and the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle were awarded nearly £20,000 by the Resuscitation Council (UK) to fund a one year project known as the PUCA (Paramedic Ultrasound in Cardiac Arrest) study to look at the feasibility of training 3RU paramedics in ELS during cardiac arrest in the pre-hospital environment.

The funding allowed the purchase of a Venue 40 portable ultrasound machine and a small amount of dedicated time for a resuscitation officer with ELS experience, to attend cardiac arrest calls along with the 3RU team and to provide on scene ultrasound training within the context of cardiac arrest best practice.

The PUCA study is also allowing us to observe in real time, the change in cardiac echo characteristics from when the 3RU team arrive shortly after cardiac arrest, until the patient reaches hospital.