Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES)

Emory University Woodruff Health Sciences Center

Includes all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) of non-traumatic etiology where the patient receives resuscitative efforts by first responders or EMS, or is defibrillated prior to EMS arrival, that occur in the CARES catchment area (covering 40 percent of the US population).

Unit of Observation:
Personally Identifiable Information Available for Linking:
Alaska, United States of America
Years Available:
Frequency of Updates:
Annually with an approximately five month lag (e.g., CY 2018 are expected in May 2019)

All non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, where the patient receives resuscitative efforts from first responders or EMS, or is defibrillated prior to EMS arrival


Researchers may request de-identified CARES data by state or nationally. To request data, researchers must submit a project proposal to the CARES Data Sharing Committee (see Appendix B of the CARES Data Sharing User Guide). To inquire more about the national data set, researchers should contact the Director of Data Management for CARES. To inquire about state-specific data, researchers should contact the respective CARES State Coordinator, who can be found on the contact page.

If the proposal is approved, researchers must secure a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before receiving the requested de-identified data set. Within three months of receiving the data set, the lead researcher must obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from their institution.

Abstracts must be submitted within three months of the date that the data set was provided, and draft manuscripts must be submitted within nine months of the date the data set was provided. All abstracts and manuscripts must be reviewed by the CARES Data Sharing Committee prior to submission. Manuscripts must include the words “and the CARES Surveillance Group” in the authorship line following the individual authors, and the "Acknowledgement" section of all manuscripts should reference the CARES participating sites.

Timeline for Access

Once the application is received, feedback is typically provided within four weeks of submission. If the Data Sharing Committee approves the request, the Data Sharing Coordinator will then provide the requested de-identified data set following a data set review webinar. 

Lag Time

Files are updated annually, with updates usually available in early May (e.g. CARES 2018 data becomes available in May 2019).


There is no fee associated with accessing CARES data.


All data is de-identified, with fields that could identify a patient, EMS agency, or hospital removed from the data set. CARES includes a randomly generated ID for EMS agencies and/or hospitals in the data set to allow researchers to adjust for those in a multivariate analysis. The CARES Data Sharing User Guide includes the data set’s structure.

Identifiers Available for Linking

  • While direct identifiers are not available, researchers have used probabilistic matching techniques to link CARES patient-level data with other data sets including Medicare inpatient data using variables such as: date of arrest/hospital admission, patient

Linking to Outside Data Sources

This data set includes 911 call center data, EMS data, and hospital data. It is also linked yearly to a number of census-tract level variables including: median household income, median age, race, average household size, unemployment rate, educational attainment, and urbanicity (the degree to which an area is urban). CARES removes all identifiers from their data once the records are complete, so they are not able to link to an outside data set even if provided one by the researchers.

Data Contents

Partial List of Variables

Demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity), cardiac arrest-specific data (location, type of arrest, witness status, presumed etiology), resuscitation-specific data, neighborhood-specific data (using Centrus Desktop Geocoder, linked to: median household income, median age, race, unemployment rate, educational attainment, etc.).

J-PAL Randomized Evaluations Using this Data Set


Other Research Using this Data Set

See a complete list of publications using the CARES data set here

Last reviewed