The number of patients revived from cardiac arrest has continued to rise in Arkansas after an EMS provider changed its treatment protocol to focus on extended on-site CPR over rapid transport to the hospital, according to the state’s largest ambulance service.
Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services of Little Rock began performing uninterrupted CPR at the scene of cardiac arrest calls beginning Nov. 23, 2015, a measure that medical experts say provides a greater chance of survival. The agency treats cardiac arrest patients on a case-by-case basis, but under its new guidelines, extended on-scene treatment is preferred over quick transport to a hospital.
In the months since MEMS adopted those guidelines, the number of patients revived from cardiac arrest increased from roughly 15% to about 32%, according to agency officials.
This month, after one year under the new protocol, that figure reportedly increased to more than 35%.
“The key is staying where you are,” MEMS quality assurance manager Mack Hutchison said. “If you’re trying to move somebody to a cot or an ambulance, you can’t do quality [chest] compressions.”