People in Kansas City, Mo. are more likely to survive cardiac arrest and have better long-term outcomes compared to many other cities. That’s according to new data from the Kansas City Missouri Fire Department.
Cardiac arrest occurs about once a day in Kansas City. It’s serious.
“You’re clinically dead during that time,” explains Dr. Joseph Salomone, Kansas City’s EMS medical director.
Your heart quits functioning. Blood no longer circulates.
Salomone says early intervention is critical to surviving and having the least amount of long-term brain damage.
“Patients who suffer from cardiac arrest, if they are not resuscitated in the field, they have a very poor likelihood of surviving,” says Salomone.
Last year, Kansas City experienced its highest survival rate: 11 percent.
“You know it seems like a little bit,” says Salomone. “But that probably gives one or two people a year the chance to leave the hospital neurologically in-tact.”
The success, Salomone says, is partly due to the specific protocols Kansas City put in place a few years ago for when emergency medical workers get to the scene of a cardiac arrest. The quick response from bystanders who perform continuous chest compressions on an individual before EMS arrives is also important.
Kansas City's survival rate is better than a lot of other places, too.
The city is part of a national initiative, along with several dozen other U.S. cities, to improve people’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest. The latest report found Kansas City's survival rate was above the overall average. In other words, Salomone says, for every 13 people who experience cardiac arrest, Kansas City saves one more person.
Salomone says the report also found that those survivors were less likely to experience long-term impairments after being discharged from the hospital.
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