KCU Medical Student Researcher Finds Lack of Funding for Cardiac Arrest

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KCU Sarnoff fellow tracked NIH funding for cardiac arrest and found it received far less than research funding for other heart related diseases. His research won “Best of the Best” award at recent American Heart Association research symposium.

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Ryan Coute

My goal is for cardiac arrest research to be provided the level of funding it deserves, so we can move forward and improve overall survival.

Cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

In fact, more than 450,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest every year.

But there is a big disparity in research funding for this killer disease compared to other leading causes of death.

We know this because of research led by Ryan Coute, a third-year medical student from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU).

Coute conducted his research as recipient of the distinguished Sarnoff Fellowship at University of Michigan. The abstract was published November 12, 2016.

“Our research tracked the past decade of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and found that on a per death basis the NIH awards approximately $2,200 for stroke, $2,100 for heart disease but only $91 for cardiac arrest,” Coute said.

Cardiac arrest, which is an abrupt loss of a person’s pulse and blood pressure, often leads to death if the victim does not receive treatment quickly.

“Results from the project underscore the need for not only increased funding, but also more investigators to focus their talents on resuscitation science,” said Coute. “My goal is for cardiac arrest research to be provided the level of funding it deserves, so we can move the field forward and improve overall survival.”

The study, titled NIH-funded Cardiac Arrest Research: A 10-year Trend Analysis, was awarded “Best of the Best” Abstract for Cardiac Resuscitation by the American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium held in New Orleans, LA November 12 and 13. Coute conducted the study during a one-year fellowship sponsored by the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

“The university is proud of Ryan and the work he is doing to improve patient outcomes,” said Marc. B. Hahn, DO, President and CEO of KCU. “The research he is participating in through the Sarnoff Fellowship has the potential to save countless lives and impact survivability in patients suffering a cardiac arrest.”

After graduating from KCU in May of 2018 Coute plans to pursue a career in academic medicine.

About Kansas City University
The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private not-for-profit university with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest in the state. KCU is the second-leading producer of physicians for both the states of Missouri and Kansas.

KCU will open a second medical school in Joplin, Mo., in 2017 to help address the growing need for primary care physicians in the region’s rural communities.

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