Improved outcome for patients with a cardiac arrest by supervision of the emergency medical services system
Background: The outcome for patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest can only be improved through optimal pre-hospital therapy by the emergency medical services (EMS) system. So far it is not clear if physician supervision of the EMS system is necessary for an optimal result.Methods: In a retrospective and prospective case series we describe the changes in outcome for patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest after the implementation of limited physician supervision of the EMS system. We also analysed the factors that were responsible for these changes.Results: We studied 479 consecutive patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In the pre-intervention period, the survival rate for patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest was 13%. This increased to 21.6% when physician supervision was implemented (p = 0.013). This increase in survival coincided with an improvement in pre-hospital advanced cardiac life support with an increase in the number of patients who arrived with a stable cardiac rhythm in the emergency department (p < 0.001).Conclusions: Limited physician supervision of an EMS system in a non-metropolitan area may improve the outcome for patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
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