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Save rate is high for cardiac arrest patients

save rateSnohomish County Fire District 1 is proud to have one of the highest cardiac arrest save rates around. Our annual average runs around 60 percent (measured using international Utstein rating), well above the national average of around 20 percent.

Deputy Chief Shaughn Maxwell, director of Fire District 1’s Emergency Medical Services Division, said a number of factors have contributed to this high save rate. “First off, our crews are doing excellent work and they’ve embraced high-performance CPR,” he said.

High-performance CPR is a highly choreographed response involving rescuers performing a faster-paced version of CPR in conjunction with the use of high-tech medical equipment and medications. It’s physically demanding and requires a full team of responders to effectively perform all tasks.

Other steps Fire District 1 has taken to improve cardiac care as well as the delivery of other emergency medical services include:

24-hour Medical Services Officer: In the fall of 2013, Fire District 1 became the first fire department in the county with a Medical Services Officer on duty around the clock to enhance patient care and expand support for first responders working in the field. This has been especially important for cardiac arrests and other life-threatening medical emergencies.

EMS Checklists: Designed by Fire District 1 to improve the quality and consistency of patient care, EMS checklists are simple tool our emergency responders can use in the field to assure they’re correctly applying their knowledge and expert skills on every 911 call and every patient.