Ohio EMS/Fire Agencies Learn New Ways to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survivability
May 17—ZOLL® Medical Corporation, an Asahi Kasei Group Company that manufactures medical devices and related software solutions, announced today that several EMS and fire organizations from across Ohio participated in a ZOLL-sponsored Resuscitation Boot Camp in an effort to learn new techniques to increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Survival from out-of-hospital SCA in the U.S. stands at less than 10% and results in an estimated 350,000 deaths annually.
The boot camp training session, utilizing ZOLL’s resuscitation devices that each of these departments presently uses, was taught by Fire Chief Sean Grayson and EMS Chief Joe Powell of the Rialto Fire Dept. (Calif.). Their department experienced a dramatic increase in patient survival just two years after implementing their “Cardiac Arrest Tool Box.” The day-long session, held May 17 at the Marriott Columbus Northwest, Dublin, focused on new approaches to the treatment of cardiac arrest. This included training on the pit crew method, in which each crew member has clearly established roles and responsibilities prior to or on arrival of each cardiac arrest.
“We nearly tripled our survival rate by employing the Cardiac Arrest Tool Box and the pit crew approach,” said Chief Grayson. “Clear, concise communication, trusting in your team members, and direct leadership maximizes efficiency and minimizes wasted effort and communication.”
"Reviewing and revising our approach to cardiac arrest resuscitation shows the value EMS and Fire organizations can bring to our communities, which can be measured in the number of lives saved and the quality of life post-arrest,” said Chief Jeff Jackson, Sandusky County EMS. “Our mission here is not only to increase survival, but to improve neurologically intact survival from SCA.” He emphasized that foremost among the survivability tools is administering uninterrupted chest compressions, along with using other supporting devices.
Jackson commented that some of the key components taught to increase cardiac arrest survivability include:
- Continuous, uninterrupted compression utilizing the ZOLL AutoPulse® Resuscitation System
- Heads-up CPR on an automated CPR device, like the AutoPulse
- Applying oxygen during the safe time period prior to intubation, used in conjunction with the AutoPulse
- Using the ZOLL ResQPOD® impedance threshold device to improve blood flow to the brain and vital organs and pulling toxic blood out of the brain
- Delaying defibrillation for a certain subset of patients
- Deprioritizing epinephrine in the order of interventions
Rialto’s Chief Powell concluded that increased survival-to-discharge is due to the implementation of the whole system rather than a single element. This system-based approach relies upon strong quality improvement and a training platform combined with dedicated teamwork. He added that establishing post-resuscitation feedback is essential to making adjustments as needed.