Anaesthetists to launch largest ever study of cardiac arrest during anaesthesia and surgery

Anaesthetists across the UK are due to commence the largest ever study of cardiac arrest occurring during general anaesthesia and surgery.

Managed by the Health Services Research Centre on behalf of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Seventh National Audit Project (NAP7) will examine perioperative cardiac arrest1.

Perioperative cardiac arrest is rare but is life threatening. NAP7 will collect comprehensive information concerning perioperative cardiac arrest events, enabling the anaesthetic and perioperative care teams to make recommendations for the improvement of patient care.

Local NAP7 co-ordinators across NHS hospitals will lead the collection of data relating to all cases of perioperative cardiac arrest during anaesthesia and surgery in the UK over the period of one year. Using this data, the NAP7 study team will then explore how often this happens, the causes and management and make recommendations to improve patient care and outcomes.

Following 100% of UK NHS hospitals engaging with the previous NAP6 study, the NAP7 study team looks forward to enjoying the same levels of NHS involvement and encourages independent hospitals to contribute to the study.

Dr Jasmeet Soar has been appointed Clinical Lead for NAP7 and will work closely alongside Professor Tim Cook, Director for National Audit Projects.

Dr Jasmeet Soar said: “I am incredibly pleased to have been appointed Clinical Lead for the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ NAP7 project. This is a unique opportunity to work closely with clinicians in the NHS and independent hospitals across the UK to investigate the prevalence of perioperative cardiac arrest. Together, we can develop enhanced guidance so that anaesthetic teams are able to reduce these events and when they happen to recognise and improve their responses.”

Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said: “I would like to congratulate Dr Soar on his appointment to this important role – one which he can be certain will have a positive impact on how anaesthetists and surgical teams across the UK address this rare, but life-threatening condition. While the National Audit Projects have to date received collaboration from every single NHS hospital in the UK, my hope is that more independent hospitals and their anaesthetic teams will engage with this project. We owe it to patients to ensure we and our colleagues are skilled and knowledgeable enough to provide them with the best care possible.”

Dr Soar is a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine at Southmead Hospital Bristol, and has a major interest in cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Jas is also chair of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation Advanced Life Support ALS Task Force, Chair of the European Resuscitation Council ALS Science Committee and an editor for the journal Resuscitation. He is a past chair of the Resuscitation Council (UK), and chairs the ALS Course Subcommittee. His interests include anaesthesia for major urology and adrenal surgery.


  1. The scope and definition of 'perioperative cardiac arrest' and the 'perioperative period' in which arrests occur, will be a key task and output of the NAP7 Steering Panel.


30 January 2019