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The original item was published from 1/30/2012 10:19:00 AM to 3/3/2012 12:05:02 AM.

News Flash

Fire Dept. / EMS

Posted on: January 30, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Portage County Sees an Increase in Survival from Cardiac Arrests

There were five survivors of cardiac arrest in Portage County in 2011, a sharp contrast to the past. Surviving cardiac arrest requires fast action on the part of many rescuers. Mostly, it requires high-quality CPR and the early use of a defibrillator.

There were five survivors of cardiac arrest in Portage County in 2011, a sharp contrast to the past. Surviving cardiac arrest requires fast action on the part of many rescuers. Mostly, it requires high-quality CPR and the early use of a defibrillator.

In the past three years, there have been 20 cardiac arrests that were witnessed by bystanders and had a shockable heart rhythm when EMS responders arrived. Of those, 8 survived to hospital discharge. That’s a 40% survival rate for witnessed and shockable arrests, which is considered remarkable by national benchmarks.

Of the five survivors in 2011, one was witnessed by EMS Providers who were already helping the patient before his heart suddenly stopped beating. In all four of the other cases, someone called 911 after the patient’s heart stopped beating.

One of those was a salesman in his late forties who was at Point Precision in Plover. When he collapsed, workers there swiftly came to his aid with CPR an AED.

Another case involved a woman in her mid thirties who collapsed at Best Buy in Plover. Fortunately, her husband sprang into action, and began performing CPR. Shortly after that, the Portage County paramedics arrived and shocked her heart back into a normal heart rhythm.

The Portage County EMS System is well prepared to respond to cardiac arrest emergencies like these. Our 911 dispatchers are trained to interrogate the caller in a way that helps them to correctly identify the nature of the problem. If needed, they can also coach witnesses to perform CPR or use an AED, even those who have no previous training.

All law enforcement vehicles in our County have been equipped with AEDs, and our officers have been trained how to use them. Similarly, all our first responders are appropriately trained and equipped with AEDs.

The EMS system consists of well trained and well equipped first responders who work in concert with the responding paramedics. The paramedics bring their knowledge, experience, and various drugs to help them restart a heart.

Currently only about 30% of cardiac arrest victims have CPR done before EMS arrives. Any increase in that number will directly impact survival. Recent changes in CPR training make it easy to do and easy to remember.

If you want to get involved, at a minimum you should take a CPR course. For more information contact Portage County EMS Coordinator Michael Fraley at (715) 346-1399.

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