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Resuscitation and Survival Rates from Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Nearly Double with Comprehensive Treatment Protocol
Date:11/16/2009

w we treat cardiac arrest patients," said Joseph P. Ornato, M.D., chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine and operational medical director of the Richmond Ambulance Authority.

"Richmond Ambulance Authority paramedics are the first in the country to initiate the cooling process during resuscitation. RAA's treatment strategy includes using a combination of drugs given early to support circulation and restart the heart, and performing high quality CPR using a mechanical device - available in all RAA ambulances - that squeezes the chest to achieve better blood pressure and oxygen delivery than that achieved with just standard CPR," he said.

"The Richmond Ambulance - VCU Medical Center partnership is so successful because it provides a continuum of care for the cardiac arrest patient from the time the 911 call is received until the patient walks out of the hospital. We are constantly sharing and assessing detailed data to improve the clinical and operational process, and the dramatic increase in our survival rate reflects this," said Chip Decker, chief executive officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority.

Decker continued, "The EMS system in the city of Richmond is a team approach between the Richmond Ambulance Authority and Richmond Fire Department, with Fire as first responder, and it works extremely well. Our rapid response times, combined with leading-edge clinical protocols like the cooling process implemented under Dr. Ornato's guidance, have enabled us to deliver a more
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