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CARESCardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival

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Communities Working Together to Save Lives

Every minute counts during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). When an OHCA occurs, emergency medical services (EMS) providers usually are the first to respond. To help EMS providers improve their performance in these situations and save more lives, CDC created the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) in collaboration with Emory University and the American Heart Association.

How It Works

CARES helps EMS providers measure how well they respond to OHCA calls. An essential part of the emergency process is called the "chain of survival." Implementing the chain quickly can help save lives—but how can EMS providers determine whether they're fast enough?

CARES Chain of Survival: Rapid activation of EMS via 911; CPR started quickly; Early use of automated extreme defibrillator (AED); Rapid delivery of appropriate and timely care.

To help EMS providers evaluate their performance, CARES provides agencies with a confidential, Web-based program to gather quickly and easily local information such as 9-1-1 response times and locations. The software creates graphs, charts, and maps for EMS providers to compare their performance with other participating communities in the United States. These reports can help guide decisions that will improve survival outcomes from OHCA.

CARES Mission

The CARES program seeks to

  • Save more lives from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
  • Strengthen collaboration between 9-1-1 centers, first responders, EMS agencies, and hospitals.
  • Provide a simple, confidential, HIPPA-compliant process to assess patient outcomes.
  • Offer technical assistance to help community leaders identify and prioritize opportunities to improve EMS performance.

CARES Across the Country

Current CARES Sites

Current CARES Sites: San Francisco, Contra Costa, Santa Barbara, Ventura County, San Diego, Reno, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Denver, El Paso County, CO, Sioux Falls, Dedgwick County, Forth Worth, Plano, Austin, Houston, Baytown, Anchorage, Kansas City, Kent County, MI, Oakland County, MI, Columbus, Cincinnatti, Nashville, Atlanta, Hilton Head, Miami, Richmond, Washington, D.C., New Castle County, MONCC, Stamford, Boston, Cambridge, Springfield.

In 2005, CARES began in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The following year, the program expanded to include 6 more cities. In 2011, 40 communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia were participating. CDC plans to expand the program to more areas as interest in CARES grows. In 2010, CARES began an expansion to statewide surveillance in Arizona, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Emergency Medical Technicians taking a patient to the hospital.

Emergency Medical Technicians helping a patients inside of an ambulance.

For More Information

These resources can help you learn more about cardiac arrest and the CARES program—

Related Articles

  • McNally B, Robb R, Mehta M, Vellano K, Valderrama AL, Yoon PW, Sasson C, Crouch A, Perez AB, Merritt R, Kellermann A; Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Surveillance—Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), United States, October 1, 2005—December 31, 2010. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011 Jul 29;60(8):1-19.
  • Govindarajan P, Lin L, Landman A, McMullan JT, McNally BF, Crouch AJ, Sasson C. Practice variability among the EMS systems participating in Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES). Resuscitation. 2011 Jun 30.
  • McNally B, Crouch A, Perez A, Mehta M, Robb R, Vellano K, Kellermann A, Sasson C. CARES: The Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival. System Attributes of an Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Surveillance Registry. An article in the 2011 Joint Commission monograph: Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Meeting the Challenge.
  • Sasson, C, Keirns, C. Smith, D, Sayre, M, Macy, M, Meurer, W. McNally, B, Kellermann, A, Iwashyna, T. The Contextual Effects of Neighborhood on Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Survival Resuscitation. 2011 Jun; 82(6):674-9. Epub 2011 Mar 31.
  • Sasson C, Keirns CC, Smith D, Sayre M, Macy M, Meurer W, McNally BF, Kellermann AL, Iwashyna TJ; Small area variations in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: does the neighborhood matter? CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival) Study Group. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Jul 6;153(1):19-22. Epub 2010 Jun 1.
  • McNally B, Stokes A, Crouch A, Kellermann AL; CARES: Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival. CARES Surveillance Group. Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Nov;54(5):674-683.e2. Epub 2009 Apr 25.
  • Sasson C, Kellermann AL, McNally BF. Termination of cardiopulmonary resuscitation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. JAMA. 2009 Feb 18;301(7):722; author reply 722-3. No abstract available. PMID: 19224746
  • Sasson C, Hegg AJ, Macy M, Park A, Kellermann A, McNally B; Prehospital termination of resuscitation in cases of refractory out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. CARES Surveillance Group. JAMA. 2008 Sep 24;300(12):1432-8.