CPR Giant ‘Threepeat’ For UA Sarver Heart Center



CPR Giant ‘Threepeat’ For UA Sarver Heart Center


Dr. Kern (left), named a CPR Giant by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, was joined in Dallas by family members, including his wife, Martha, son, David, and daughter-in-law, Jessica.

The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation honored a third member of the UA Sarver Heart Center Resuscitation Research Group as a CPR Giant at its 2015 Honorees Dinner in February. Karl B. Kern, MD, was named a “CPR Giant” in recognition of his 30 years as an international leader in resuscitation science. The committee noted his clinical and laboratory research has focused on many of the most important topics in resuscitation.

Among his accomplishments cited by the ILCOR:

  • The first laboratory investigator to study the effectiveness of CPR in the presence of coronary artery obstruction and heart attack (tissue damage caused by lack of oxygen when blood supply is obstructed).
  • Part of the research team that published landmark studies that provided the basis for layperson and emergency responder chest-compression-only CPR. 
  • Led public education programs, including a chest-compression-only CPR video production viewed by millions of people. (A link is on the Sarver Heart Center website: heart.arizona.edu/learn-cpr.)
  • Leadership on guidelines committees for the American Heart Association and in education in South America and Europe.

Dr. Kern (pictured with his wife, Martha, son, David, and daughter-in-law, Jessica), joins past SHC faculty CPR Giants, including Gordon A. Ewy, MD, professor emeritus and director emeritus of the UA Sarver Heart Center, who was named a CPR Giant in 2000, and Robert Berg, MD, now professor of anesthesiology and critical care at University of Pennsylvania, who was honored in 2010.

The Power of Private-Public Funding

Dr. Kern’s research is funded in part by an Arizona Biomedical Investigator Grant from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission in the Arizona Department of Health Services, plus the Gordon A. Ewy, MD, Distinguished Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, the Gordon A. Ewy, MD, Resuscitation Research Endowment and the Steven M. Gootter Foundation.

Next Horizon: Improving Emergency Care of Cardiac Arrest Patients

Dr. Kern is conducting a new clinical research study that could lead to further improvements in post-arrest survival.

Cardiac arrest is a major public health issue.

  • Only 40 percent of the people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest make it to the hospital alive.
  • Of those 40 percent who make it to the hospital alive, only one in four survives to go home.
  • If the electrocardiogram (ECG) shows changes of a heart attack, cardiac arrest patients have a coronary angiogram (heart catheterization).
  • When the ECG does not show an obvious heart attack, the timing of the heart catheterization is decided on a case-by-case basis by treating doctors.

Dr. Kern’s study will answer the question: Does an early heart catheterization improve survival, regardless of what the ECG shows?

The PEARL Study – The University of Arizona Medical Center Study on Early Coronary Angiography in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Survivors

What is The PEARL Study?

A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial of Early Coronary Angiography Versus No Early Coronary Angiography for Post-Cardiac Arrest Patients Without ECG ST Segment Elevation, called The PEARL Study for short, is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of coronary angiography (also known as heart catheterization) performed within 90 minutes of hospital arrival in a population of post-cardiac arrest patients without ST Segment elevation on their electrocardiograms (ECGs).

This study will help answer the question: “Does an early heart catheterization improve cardiac arrest survival, regardless of what the ECG shows?”

Tell us what you think about this research and help the Sarver Heart Center doctors gain answers to this important question:  (Click here to start the survey)

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