(WFRV) – Several Northeastern Wisconsin Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies are exceeding national averages for survival from sudden cardiac arrest.
According to the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) Program, over 67 percent of the state’s total EMS agencies participating in the CARES program are having stellar results. While reviewing the CARES 2020 data, officials discovered that Wisconsin’s participating EMS agencies and hospital partners actually increased their survival rates for patients who experienced a sudden cardiac arrest compared with the national averages.
“In patients who experience a witnessed sudden cardiac arrest and who were found in a heart rhythm
that can be defibrillated—also known as a shockable rhythm—the survival is 42.5% among participating
Wisconsin EMS agencies compared to the overall survival rates across the United States” says Dr. M
Riccardo Colella, the DHS Wisconsin State EMS Medical Director.
Out of the over 50 participating EMS agencies, 14 of those are reportedly in Northeastern Wisconsin counties including Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan, Waupaca, Waushara, and Winnebago.
Officials say the report also highlighted an opportunity to increase the bystander CPR rate “Bystander initiated CPR in these communities is 34.5% compared to 40.8% in CARES communities across the United States,” says Amanda Bates, EMS Section Chief for Wisconsin EMS. “Efforts across the state, including training on recognition and early delivery of Bystander CPR Instructions in communities where EMD, or Emergency Medical Dispatch training is not available, is really the critical first step for sudden cardiac arrest survivability. We are hopeful that focusing awareness and action to the Bystander CPR education and training that is freely available will lead to improved patient outcomes within our state.”
CARES professionals say that by releasing this data they hope to improve the quality of patient care, support requests for equipment funding, and accelerate community partnerships for bystander CPR and AED training to continue saving more lives.