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The Borg: Remorselessly Resuscitating More People Than Ever

Just got the word from Headquarters Hive that, through the efforts of my fellow drones and I, our cardiac arrest resuscitation rate for 2011 was 27.48%. For the third quarter of 2011, our resuscitation rate was 34.78%. In 2005, when we started tracking it, our resuscitation rate was only 8.2%.

Of course, that's only for witnessed VF arrest, but those are the same measures used by those systems that tout resuscitation rates over 50%. That means that over 1 of 4 of our VF patients were discharged from the hospital neurologically intact or only mildly impaired.

Not too shabby, considering that we cover 58 counties/parishes in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana, with over 250 ground ambulances in service at any one time. And most of our service area is rural or suburban.

There's nothing mystical about what we're doing, either – no special drug regimens, no mechanical CPR devices, no whiz-bang airways, no six-man CPR pit crews. We simply emphasize uninterrupted chest compressions.

To that end, we deemphasize advanced airway access until later in the resuscitation (if at all) and only if we can do it without interrupting compressions, and we work our codes on scene, because packaging for transport results in too many interruptions, and chest compressions in a moving ambulance suck.

I'd say "good job" to my fellow drones, but that praise has already spread through the Hive Mind already.

Comments - Add Yours

  • A Medic

    I was skeptical when we changed our protocols to one’s I thought were a little too dumbed down. Turns out our Mayor’s new pet project was having the best witnessed VF arrest survival rate in the country. Sounds like we’re using the same ground rules. I was dumbfounded when I saw the new numbers. I won’t say what city, but you’ll hear all about it when the 1 year numbers come out. Long story short we met our Mayor’s challenge. Over 65%. No bullsh**.

  • Woodlawnmedic

    We too have started tracking those stats and have seen improvement with the “new” CPR. I would love to write a protocol that medics could understand. It would say things like “ok Hero, put the laryngoscope down and slowly back away”. Oh, and “dont even think about leaving for the ER until you have completed at least 5 rounds of good, uninterupted chest compressions. The only thing the ER has that you dont is a doctor telling everyone to stop”.
    Seems like shiny blades and fancy dancy auto pulses distract from what really saves lives.
    HInt: It aint the “new” CPR, its just the fact that we are now doing CPR instead of playing with our toys.
    Just my opinion.

  • Robert Martin

    Acadian or AMR? Either way, that’s some excellent work y’all are doing. I do wonder what a comprehensive follow-up of the survivors would show us.