Posted by: Blog Admin | April 20, 2010

Wake EMS Featured For Improved Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

Wake County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be featured in an upcoming issue of the medical journal, Annals of Emergency Medicine, highlighting the County’s 200 percent improvement in outcomes for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Wake County. The article is available for download now.

Cardiac arrest is an immediately life threatening condition in which a person’s heartbeat and breathing stop. The review, which observed 1,365 victims of cardiac arrest between January 2004 and October 2007, tracked significant increases in survival rates as treatment protocols were enhanced. The improved treatment measures saved an additional 25 lives per year in Wake County during that time.

“In October 2006 Wake began the Induced Hypothermia program,” said Dr. Brent Myers, director of the Wake County EMS System.  “We soon knew that this method, and the other improved protocols that we implemented, were working well. The key with this published report is that we have had our findings externally validated by emergency medicine experts across the country.”

The protocol changes include several factors such as new CPR and chest compressions guidelines for Raleigh-Wake and Cary 9-1-1 centers, improved lung ventilation practices, defibrillation and the induction of therapeutic hypothermia, which cools the body’s temperature and improves neurologic outcomes of cardiac arrest victims. 

The continued care of resuscitated patients by Rex Hospital and WakeMed Raleigh Hospital plays an important role in the resulting large increase in survivors.

Wake County EMS offers these tips when in a situation with a cardiac arrest victim:

  • Do CPR, including chest compressions, on any victim of cardiac arrest. It can be a critical life-saver for those people, and is not harmful to those who didn’t actually need it.
  • Don’t wait to call 9-1-1. Placing a call earlier rather than later can save a life.

For more information on Wake County EMS, visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: