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February 6, 2011 (El Cajon)--For the past four years, El Cajon Fire Department has been involved in studies for cardiac arrest patients. According to medical officials over-seeing this study, survival rates for these patients increased 1.6% to 9%--a survival rate rivaling some of the top performers in the nation, despite a high rate of elderly persons in the population with multiple health problems.



Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) is a clinical trial network focusing on research in the area of pre-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest and severe traumatic injury.The ROC PRIMED study involved changes in CPR chest compression rates during CPR on cardiac arrest patients.


Dr. Dan Davis of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) overseeing this study, conducted the ROC training with El Cajon Paramedic-Firefighters. The ROC investigators, such as Dr. Davis, worked with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems at each site to do these studies. Treatments studied include promising resuscitation drugs, tools and techniques.


Looking at the corresponding survival rates prior to some dedicated training sessions with Dr. Davis, the ROC data documented a cardiac arrest survival rate of 1.6% in El Cajon. Following this training, the survival rate rose to 9.0%, which according to Dr. Davis is outstanding.


He attributes the rise to a dramatic improvement in the quality of CPR.


Dr. Davis praised the firefighters for this amazing improvement. Others within ROC are inquiring as to exactly what El Cajon did and whether others might be able to follow suit. This success will be offered to other EMS agencies to adopt new CPR and resuscitation training.


The ROC study took place at 10 locations across the United States and Canada. Approximately 150 EMS and fire services organizations, involving more than 20,000 EMS providers, who serve a combined population of nearly 15 million people from diverse urban, suburban, and rural regions, participated in ROC PRIMED.


“We are really excited to see the increased survival rate as a result of this training and study. As a result, our patients have an improved chance of survival” Fire Chief Mike Scott.


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