A report released today by the Institute of Medicine recommends strategies and actions to improve survival and quality of life following cardiac arrest, the third leading cause of death in the United States. About 395,000 cardiac arrests occur annually in the community and another 200,000 in hospitals; about 6% and 24% of those patients survive, respectively, the report notes. Unlike a heart attack, cardiac arrest results from a disturbance in the heart’s electrical activity that causes it to stop beating. While effective treatment requires that someone immediately recognize the condition, call 911, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use an automated external defibrillator, less than 3% of the U.S. population receives CPR training each year, according to the report. The study committee recommends the nation establish a cardiac arrest registry and collaborative to track performance and identify common goals; train the public to administer CPR and use AEDs; standardize dispatcher-assisted CPR protocols and training for emergency medical technicians; set national accreditation standards related to cardiac arrest for hospitals and health care systems; adopt continuous quality improvement programs; and research and adopt new treatments.