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Spike In Cardiac Arrest Saves Stunning

Spike in cardiac arrest saves stunning

For someone suffering cardiac arrest, saying “every second counts” may seem trite — but it’s true.

Every minute without CPR and defibrillation decreases the person’s chance of survival between 7 percent and 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association. Accordingly, quick action is imperative to save as many lives as possible.

Three years ago, dispatchers for Lincoln Fire and Rescue and the 911 Communication Center began working with callers to inform them of the signs of cardiac arrest and talk them through the process of providing CPR. In that time, the city’s cardiac survival rate skyrocketed from 23 percent in 2014 to 72 percent in 2016, light years above the national rate of 18 percent.

Through this program, Lincoln’s public safety officials have done a stellar job in collaborating to boost the save rate so quickly in such little time. Of course, saving as many lives as possible is at the core of what first responders and dispatchers do. But the sharp increase Lincoln has seen over the past three years is truly stunning and worthy of recognition.

An investment of time by the LFR’s medical director, coupled with printed and digital cards for dispatchers to give step-by-step instructions on walking laypeople through CPR, has saved the lives of many people in Lincoln who may not have survived just a few years ago.

Obviously, rescue crews and paramedics can’t immediately be at the scene when a person needs CPR. It takes them precious minutes to get from the station to the location, which means those who call 911 are in the best position to start potentially life-saving resuscitation efforts – with an assist from dispatchers.

In those critical minutes, chest compressions greatly improve the chances of surviving cardiac arrest. Guiding a possibly traumatized caller into becoming the first line of offense in a life-or-death race against the clock isn’t easy. All hands are needed on deck when someone’s life is on the line.

Whether it’s the caller beginning compressions, the dispatcher coaching a caller through the process or first responders taking over and ensuring the victim gets needed acute medical attention, Lincoln’s spike in its cardiac save rate wasn’t achieved on its own.

The success Lincoln has seen in dramatically increasing the survival rate for cardiac arrest patients is nothing short of astonishing. Those at LFR involved with this program deserve credit for their role in the rapid rise that has saved several lives.

Story Credit: http://fremonttribune.com/print_specific/ragged_right/spike-in-cardiac-arrest-saves-stunning/article_dd73d716-230b-52c8-af8c-ecd74fcc42a1.html