From Small Chance to Second Chance
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in America and a major public health problem, claiming the lives of some 250,000 people every year. The chance a victim survives is tragically low: only 5 to 10 percent live to hospital discharge in the United States. Roughly 15 people suffer SCA in Arizona every day.
There is hope, however, especially when a bystander sees or hears a victim collapse. A quick call to 9-1-1 touches off the "Chain of Survival," an orchestrated series of rescue actions proceeding from bystander CPR to early defibrillation, swift transport to a cardiac center, and standardized care until the patient is well enough to go home.
Bystander CPR represents a great but frequently missed opportunity: it can double the chance a patient survives, but it is performed in fewer than half of all cases. Time is of the essence – survival likelihood falls by 7-10 percent per minute. In just five minutes, then, it's roughly half what it was at the moment of collapse.
The Save Hearts in Arizona Registry and Education program (SHARE), a statewide effort designed to maximize survival, invites dispatch centers and Public Safety Answering Points to partner in a precious challenge: improving telephone-assisted CPR in an effort to save lives in the communities we serve.
SHARE – a joint venture embracing municipal fire departments, ambulance agencies, hospitals, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center – acts as a hub in this pursuit, providing services and resources that help 9-1-1 centers implement the latest guidelines from the American Heart Association.
This HIPAA-exempt effort has two central aims:
- To engage partners in a continuous quality-improvement initiative that measures and enhances the delivery of telephone CPR instructions.
- To provide partners with standardized, confidential reports detailing process and outcome. For example, a report will cite the fraction of calls where CPR instructions were given and the average time across these calls to the start of CPR.
Integral to such programs are efforts to recognize call-takers and dispatchers for their life-saving work, and to connect them with the patients whose lives they help save. SHARE facilitates such connections by providing centers with hospital outcome reports and survivor contact information, in this way closing the loop that began with a bystander's desperate call to 9-1-1.
This page is as found on the 9-1-1 CPR Dispatch site.