New System Improves Cardiac Arrest Survival Rate

July 29, 2014

There are more than 300,000 cases of cardiac arrest in the United States every year and more than three quarters of those occur outside of the hospital. 

Arizona has rolled out a new statewide effort that more than doubles the chances of survival for a patient in cardiac arrest.

Dr. Daniel Spaite, director of EMS Research at the University of Arizona, says it is important that friends and family are aware of the two-step program Arizona doctors have designed.

“Many people who’ve taken even a CPR class have this sense of ‘Oh no if I don’t want to put my mouth on a stranger’s mouth I’m not going to do anything.'" Spaite said. "The beauty now is we’re not just saying, well at least do half, but the best thing to do is to press hard and fast until the rescuers show up.”

While preventative medicine is often the health department’s answer for best practice, many people who experience cardiac arrest don’t have prior symptoms.

Doctors partnered this hands-only CPR with simple changes in hospitals to better address patients in cardiac arrest, and the survival rate increased more than 60 percent.