Therapeutic Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest in Children (THAPCA) Trials

Cardiopulmonary arrest (when the heart stops beating) is a tragic event in children that is associated with high rates of death and long term disability. The study, entitled “Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest (THAPCA)”, will evaluate whether regulating the body temperature will improve the outcome for children after cardiac arrest. There is a separate study for children who arrest in the hospital (THAPCA-IH) and children who arrest out of the hospital (THAPCA-OH).  The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is funding the first large scale, multi-center study to help determine the best treatment for children who are successfully resuscitated after a cardiac arrest.

The goal of these two trials is to determine if therapeutic hypothermia improves survival with good neurobehavioral outcome in children who have had a cardiac arrest. About 900 children will be enrolled in this study over 6 years at 30 clinical centers throughout the US and Canada. Enrollment in the THAPCA Trials began in September, 2009.

The THAPCA Trials investigative team has worked collaboratively since 2002 bringing together two federally funded pediatric clinical research networks to study this problem. The two networks are the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), funded by the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program and the NICHD Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Resesarch Network (CPCCRN).