January 19 2016

Burlington Fire Department Adopts New Protocol for Cardiac Arrest Patients


The Burlington Fire Department will now be using a new technique when responding to cardiac arrest patients. 


Chief Steven Yetman announced last week that department  has adopted a new cardiac arrest treatment protocol to increase the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients and improve their neurological outcomes.


The cardio-cerebral resuscitation (CCR) protocol instructs EMTs and paramedics to initiate effective chest compressions for up to eight minutes prior to administering active ventilations and moving the person, a release states. This has been shown to maintain the viability of the heart and brain.


"This new procedure has proven to increase the survival rates of cardiac arrest patients, compared to traditional advanced life support protocols," Chief Yetman said. "By implementing CCR, we ensure that the Burlington Fire Department is able to provide the highest level of emergency care out there to our residents."


According to the release, previous treatment included airway interventions during initial resuscitation and attempting to transport the patient sooner, which disturbs resuscitation and may lead to decreased survival rates.


The CCR protocol has been found to have the most success on adult patients who have experienced cardiac arrest with a certain type of heart arrhythmia and who receive immediate medical attention.


This protocol will not be used on minors under 18 years old, the release states. 


This means a change in what onlookers can expect from emergency medical crews. 


“Going forward, residents, bystanders and family members should be aware that they may see an extended on-scene time by emergency personnel,” the release states. “However, research shows that the extra few minutes spent performing high quality CCR significantly improves survival compared to standard advance life support.”


If you have any questions regarding the Burlington Fire Department EMS system or the new CCR protocol, please contact Lt. Mark Saia at 781-505-1181 or msaia@burlington.org.

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