Scientific Statements

The American Heart Association convenes cardiac arrest and cardiovascular disease scientists, healthcare providers and experts on a regular basis to create scientific statements on topics pertinent to emergency cardiovascular care topics.

A full list can be found here. Or visit the archive for reports published in 2013 and earlier.

Recent AHA scientific statements include:

“Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2017 Update”

This annual report includes the most up-to-date statistics on heart disease, stroke and the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7, which includes health behaviors and factors that influence cardiovascular health. The information included within is a key resource for a wide audience that includes the general public, policy makers, media organizations, clinicians, researchers and more. Read the full report.

“Use of Mobile Devices, Social Media, and Crowdsourcing as Digital Strategies to Improve Emergency Cardiovascular Care”

Despite the fact that cardiac arrest, acute myocardial infarction, and stroke affect millions of people in the U.S. each year, significant gaps remain in quickly identifying symptoms and when to initiate emergency cardiovascular and cerebrovascular care (ECCC). Yet digital tools and strategies have the potential to help close these gaps and have been identified by the American Heart Association “as an important factor to help achieve the 2020 goals of improved cardiovascular health,” according to the organization. This scientific statement more closely examines digital tools and strategies and their role in ECCC, from a larger strategic perspective to granular, data-collecting tools that can be used for individuals, health systems, and populations. Read the full report.

Judy Mims Head Shot2
“But she was able to return to her fifth-grade classroom. She teaches Sunday school and sings in her church choir. “I owe my life to each and every one who played a part in my rescue.”
“American Heart Association Response to the 2015 Institute of Medicine Report on Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival”

To help advance the objectives of improving outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest outlined in the Institute of Medicine’s 2015 report, “Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act,” the American Heart Association announced four new commitments to increase cardiac arrest survival:

  1. Provide up to $5 million over 5 years to incentivize resuscitation data interoperability
  2. Actively pursue philanthropic support (locally and regionally) to improve out-of-hospital and in-hospital systems of care
  3. Actively pursue philanthropic support to create an AHA resuscitation research network
  4. Co-sponsor a National Cardiac Arrest Summit to create a national cardiac arrest collaborative and identify common goals to improve survival

Read more about the AHA’s plans in the full report.

“Cardiac Arrest and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Outcome Reports: Update of the Utstein Resuscitation Registry Templates for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest”

Representatives of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation worked from 2012-2014 to update the 2004 Utstein guidelines, which provide a structured framework to compare emergency medical services systems. This report includes recommendations for reporting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest data, including how to group data elements. A reporting template is also included to help encourage and facilitate standardized reporting. Read the full report.

“American Heart Association Response to the 2015 Institute of Medicine Report on Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival”

To help advance the objectives of improving outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest outlined in the Institute of Medicine’s 2015 report, “Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act,” the American Heart Association announced four new commitments to increase cardiac arrest survival:

  1. Provide up to $5 million over 5 years to incentivize resuscitation data interoperability
  2. Actively pursue philanthropic support (locally and regionally) to improve out-of-hospital and in-hospital systems of care
  3. Actively pursue philanthropic support to create an AHA resuscitation research network
  4. Co-sponsor a National Cardiac Arrest Summit to create a national cardiac arrest collaborative and identify common goals to improve survival

Read more about the AHA’s plans in the full report.

“Cardiac Arrest in Pregnancy”

This first scientific statement from the AHA on maternal resuscitation includes comprehensive guidelines and recommendations for all aspects of maternal resuscitation and is designed for any healthcare provider involved in resuscitation. Read the full report.

“Temperature Management After Cardiac Arrest”

Although mild induced hypothermia has been used to treat patients who remain comatose after resuscitation for more than a decade, questions persisted on when and how to use temperature management. This report evaluates three key questions to help healthcare providers determine when temperature management can be most effective, including a recommendation of “targeted temperature management for adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with an initial shockable rhythm at a constant temperature between 32°C and 36°C for at least 24 hours,” according to the abstract. Read the full report.

“Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Quality: Improving Cardiac Resuscitation Outcomes Both Inside and Outside the Hospital”

There’s no disputing that high-quality CPR is key in increasing cardiac arrest survival, yet variations in CPR monitoring, implementation, and quality improvement persist. This statement examines several areas of CPR quality for trained rescuers, including CPR performance metrics; monitoring, feedback and integration of a patient’s response to CPR; team logistics to ensure consistent performance of high-quality CPR; and continuous quality improvement. Read the full report.

“Cardiac Arrest and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Outcome Reports: Update of the Utstein Resuscitation Registry Templates for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest”

Representatives of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation worked from 2012-2014 to update the 2004 Utstein guidelines, which provide a structured framework to compare emergency medical services systems. This report includes recommendations for reporting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest data, including how to group data elements. A reporting template is also included to help encourage and facilitate standardized reporting. Read the full report.