COBRE in Acute Care Research &
Rural  Disparities

Enhancing emergency and acute care research throughout Northern New England.

COBRE in Acute Care Research & Rural Disparities 


Project 2: Ceftriaxone immunomodulation and antimicrobial effects after cardiac arrest.  David Gagnon, PharmD

The PROTECT Study will involve people brought to Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. The study will examine if giving antibiotics after cardiac arrest stops pneumonia, a lung infection, and helps people survive and recover. It will also look at how antibiotics affect the normal bacteria in our bodies. Currently the best way to stop pneumonia after cardiac arrest is unknown; there are risks and benefits to each approach. This study will answer the question: Do early antibiotics after cardiac arrest stop pneumonia and help people recover?

Cardiac arrest is occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood. In adults, this may be the result of a heart attack or other stress on the body. Pneumonia, a lung infection, may make it harder to survive cardiac arrest.

  • Only 4 out of 10 people who have an out-of-hospital arrest make it to the hospital alive
  • Of the 4 people who make it to the hospital alive, only 1 or 2 will leave the hospital alive
  • Lung infection may happen to 6 out of 10 patients and may lower their ability survive and live normally

Patients who have cardiac arrest and are not awake are treated in the hospital and sometimes have their body temperature lowered (“hypothermia”). Pneumonia, a lung infection, is common, but we do not know if giving antibiotics can stop it. All patients and families who choose to be in the study will be randomly placed in 1 of 2 groups:

  • Group #1: ceftriaxone (antibiotic) two times a day for three days total
  • Group #2: placebo (salt water) two times a day for three days total