A toolkit of resources, including videos and training materials, is now available to help EMS and 9-1-1 agencies improve on the average 10 percent national survival rate from cardiac arrest. Each year more than 250,000 people experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), and telecommunicator CPR and high-performance CPR programs at EMS and 9-1-1 agencies nationwide can help save more lives.
"The research clearly shows that the impact of interventions early after a cardiac arrest are the most important," says Ben Bobrow, MD and CPR LifeLinks project lead. "This underscores why EMS and 9-1-1 systems are the most crucial parts of the chain of survival."
The CPR LifeLinks initiative was created to support EMS and 9-1-1 agencies in their collaborative efforts to save more lives due to OHCA. Resulting from recommendations by the Institute of Medicine's 2015 report, Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act, the objectives of this project were to:
Define best practice recommendations for performing telecommunicator CPR, as well as develop training and implementation guidelines that can be customized and implemented by 9-1-1 centers
Define best practice recommendations for high-performance CPR to be used by trained EMS personnel and develop a training curriculum and implementation guide
Two working committees of physicians, paramedics, and 9-1-1 training and operational experts collaborated to create a practical toolkit that serves as a resource for EMS and 9-1-1 agencies interested in working together to improve OHCA response within their community.
The toolkit includes:
Information about the science of cardiac arrest
Tips for engaging leadership support for CPR improvement programs
Recommendations for training and continuous quality improvement efforts
Training tools such as videos and audio recordings of 9-1-1 calls
It also provides tips to help overcome common challenges and to establish survivor recognition programs, connecting telecommunicators and EMS personnel with the people whose lives they save. To download the Toolkit, visit ems.gov or 911.gov.