Old Saybrook Police: Leading Efforts to Improve Emergency Care.
Half of men and women in western society with serious coronary artery disease experience their first signs of the disease in a dramatic way—sudden cardiac arrest.
Whether a victim lives or dies at this point depends on whether the collapse is witnessed, if the people who are there are trained and willing to perform CPR, and whether the arrest has occurred in a system that can bring about early arrival of needed resources and timely execution of evidence based interventions.
Many have recognized the need to improve community systems of emergency cardiovascular care to optimize patient survival. The "Chain of Survival" represents the current approach to improving recognition, response, care and outcomes.
The American Heart Association estimates that if communities could achieve a 20% survival rate, an estimated 50,000 lives could be saved each year. One potential strategy for delivering early CPR and rapid defibrillation in the out of hospital setting includes the utilization of law enforcement agency (LEA) personnel.
Indeed, in many communities, LEA units are frequently on patrol and can respond immediately to emergencies. With this in mind, LEA can often arrive on scene before EMS units and begin time sensitive treatments. Furthermore LEA has an established role as “guardians of public safety”.
Recently, the Old Saybrook Department of Police Services, in cooperation with the Old Saybrook Ambulance Association and Middlesex Hospital has decided to move forward with several strategies to improve response, care and outcomes and are addressing community education, responder education, emergency system access and dispatch and research/quality improvement.