District's Cardiac Response Times Lagging
Despite its relatively small size, ambulances in the District have a low survival rate for cardiac arrest patients: only one in eight make it to the emergency room with a pulse, The Post's Elissa Silverman reports today.
Across the river in Arlington County and Alexandria, where ambulances cover a much greater area, the rate is twice as high.
While patients in cardiac arrest, a condition usually triggered by an electrical disorder that disrupts the heart's blood-pumping, make up less than 1 percent of the District's 911 calls, experts say success in keeping those patients alive is one of the most telling indicators of the overall quality of an emergency medical system.
There were 585 patients treated for cardiac arrest by the District in 2005, the last year for which statistics are available.
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Posted by: Karen Romero | June 5, 2008 9:26 AM