Fire EMS, Fire Prevention & Protection, Health & Safety

Joint effort to save cardiac arrest patients

Issue 4 and Volume 171.

The new ECPR Alert prehospital life support protocol being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in conjunction with the Columbus (OH) Division of Fire has been credited with saving lives. According to Dr. Ernest Mazzaferri Jr., medical director of The Ohio State University Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, “This protocol is for people who are in ventricular fibrillation or refractory ventricular tachycardia, which are irregular heart rhythms that aren’t compatible with life and resist being shocked back to normal.” He explains that if these patients do not respond to being shocked, they would die in the field because there are no options to save them. Now, he adds, “In certain situations, we have had patients survive and walk out of the hospital.” In the field, Columbus EMS personnel follow their protocol for ventricular fibrillation. If after three defibrillation attempts, the patient’s heart rhythm remains unchanged, the medics…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now