March 12, 2013 -- Cabarrus County EMS and Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast recently celebrated the first-ever Hearts & Heroes event. Hearts & Heroes brought together victims of cardiac incidents, their families and the medical professionals who saved their lives for an evening of celebration.
More than 21 patients, including dads, husbands, sons and even an emergency responder, have a second chance at life because of simple and strategic steps made by a partnership between EMS, CMC-NorthEast and the Cabarrus community. And that's just in the program's first year.
In 2011, a group of Cabarrus County paramedics came together to address ways to improve cardiac arrest care in the country. With the backing of their medical director, Dr. Craig Corey, and support from CMC-NorthEast, the team rewrote protocols and methods for responding and caring for patients in cardiac arrest.
The team decided it was all about early response and care. That means early activation of 9-1-1, early CPR, early defibrillation, early advanced life support and early access to definitive care.
To make this happen and create positive patient outcomes, the team:
- devoted thousands of hours of community CPR training to teach citizens the importance and simplicity of bystander CPR and AED usage;
- constantly and openly communicated with and received feedback from CMC-NorthEast and county first responder departments about patient care, treatment techniques and management of cardiac arrest patients;
- incorporated Q-CPR devices to give field crews instant feedback during the cardiac arrest and full event review ability during debriefings;
- and focused on in-house chart review and audit of all cardiac arrest calls.
The work of the team produced immediate results, including a seven percent increase in patient survival rates.
If you are ever witness to a cardiac incident, remember there is something you can do. Don't doubt when seconds count--CALL 9-1-1!