Research Ethics

Research is essential in order to identify the best treatment for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. However, it presents particular challenges in that the ambulance paramedics are dealing with a time-critical emergency situation and the patient is unconscious and unable to consent to participate in studies.  The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) describes conditions under which research involving people highly dependent on medical care might proceed although their capacity to give consent is limited or non-existent (Chapter 4.4 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, 2007) . All “Aus-ROC endorsed” research studies are required to comply with the National Health and Medical Research Council – National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) and have approval (or exemption) from a properly constituted human research ethics committee (HREC). In addition, all studies are reviewed, approved and monitored by the Aus-ROC Steering Committee.


The RINSE study has been reviewed and approved by the following HRECs.

Ambulance Victoria:
The Alfred Hospital HREC: Ref No: 435/09, approved 4/11/2009, amendment approved 2/3/2012
In addition, HREC approval has been obtained for determination of patient outcome status from

SA Ambulance Service:
The RAH HREC: Ref No: 110433, approved 3/6/2011, 110433a, amendment approved 7/3/2012
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital HREC (includes Modbury & Lyell McEwin Hospitals), Ref No: 2011112, approved 19/8/2011, amendment approved 20/3/2012

The Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (SAC HREC) (includes Flinders Medical Centre, the Repatriation General Hospital & Noarlunga Health Services), Ref No: 332.11 approved 19/7/2011, amendment approved 9/3/2012.

St John Ambulance (Western Australia):
The University of Western Australia: Ref No: RA/4/1/4677, approved 8/6/2011
In addition individual hospital HREC approval will be sought to determine patient neurological status at hospital discharge, from hospital records.

Whilst patients cannot give consent to participate in the study at the time of their cardiac arrest, all patients are informed of their involvement in the study once they have recovered.


Approved by Monash University Human Ethics Committee.