Delaware County EMS improving its cardiac-arrest treatment program

DELAWARE — Delaware County’s Emergency Medical Services Department announced that it has completed a “Resuscitation Boot Camp” that will expand on its already award-winning cardiac-arrest treatment program.

A crew from DCEMS participated in a training session for new industry techniques that increase the rate of survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). According to ZOLL Medical Corporation, the organization sponsoring the training, survival from out-of-hospital SCA in the U.S. stands at less than 10 percent and results in an estimated 350,000 deaths annually.

“Once a person is in cardiac arrest, it’s a matter of life and death,” said DCEMS Assistant Chief Aaron Jennings. “Reviewing and revising our approach to cardiac-arrest resuscitation shows the value Delaware County EMS can bring to our residents, and we’ll be able to measure our success in terms of the number of lives saved and the quality of life post-arrest.”

Jennings added, “Our mission is not only to increase survival, but to improve survival while minimizing neurological damage after a SCA.”

The ZOLL-sponsored Resuscitation Boot Camp took place May 17 in Dublin, Ohio. It utilized resuscitation devices the DCEMS is already using and was taught by Fire Chief Sean Grayson and EMS Chief Joe Powell of the Rialto Fire Dept. (Calif.). Rialto nearly tripled their SCA survival rates in just two years by implementing the “Cardiac Arrest Tool Box” and a “pit crew” approach to resuscitation.

“In the pit crew method, each crew member has clearly established roles and responsibilities prior to or on arrival of each cardiac arrest,” said Jennings. “It focuses on clear, concise communication, trusting in your team members, and direct leadership to maximize efficiency and minimize wasted effort and communication.”

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