ArrestPACs are a low-cost, effective addition to emergency departments, specialty clinics, urgent cares, and skilled nursing facilities — complementing code carts and providing medical teams with a rapid response cardiac arrest treatment kit until the cart arrives.
Cardiac arrest patients stand to benefit from being treated with ArrestPACs, as improved survival rates may accompany the consistent following of ACLS treatment protocols (notably the American Heart Association algorithms).
Further, doctors, nurses, and paramedics benefit from a tool that helps them more consistently follow ACLS treatment protocols . . . no matter how long ago they may have been trained, or when they may have last treated a cardiac arrest patient.
Sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 325,000 people each year in the United States — more than the total death rate for breast cancer, lung cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined.
Treatment for cardiac arrests in a clinic or hospital includes immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilation, and the administration of antiarrhythmics and/or vasopressors until a return of spontaneous circulation.
Since 1974, the American Heart Association (AHA) has published evolving standards for providing basic and advanced life support, including specific advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) procedures for the resuscitation of patients suffering from cardiac arrest.
These ACLS procedures — grouped into flowcharts and called “algorithms” — are the industry standard for both pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency treatment of cardiac arrest.
Dr. Charles Lick and Dr. Paul Satterlee serve as co-medical directors at Allina Medical Transportation in Minnesota. They oversee the care of more than 300 cardiac arrests every year, with Dr. Lick also participating in TAKE HEART AMERICA (a national initiative to improve the care of cardiac arrest patients), and Dr. Satterlee also working as an Emergency Medicine physician at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
Through their quality-assurance process, Dr. Lick and Dr. Satterlee observed that when medical staff closely followed American Heart Association algorithms in their treatment of cardiac arrest, patients had a markedly greater survival rate:
Bolstered by data showing improved patient survivability when EMS providers closely follow American Heart Association algorithms, the doctors sought a way to help better execute ACLS in emergency rooms, clinics, and nursing facilities.
A. Ensure each cardiac arrest patient received the best possible care, emphasizing the established standards promoted by the American Heart Association; and,
B. Help nurses and doctors more closely follow American Heart Association algorithms in their treatment of cardiac arrest — acknowledging that cardiac arrest can be a stressful event for medical teams to treat.
Dr. Lick’s and Dr. Satterlee’s solution was to create the ArrestPAC: A cardiac arrest treatment bag that provides direction, organization, and efficiency to one of the most stressful events in emergency medicine.
ArrestPAC is designed to quickly guide nurses and doctors through the American Heart Association algorithms for cardiac arrest treatment, both in presentation and content.
For example, the ArrestPAC unfolds in a way that presents the correct treatments in the correct order for medical providers to follow American Heart Association algorithms simply by opening and deploying its contents.
Each ArrestPAC includes quick-reference cards reminding medical providers of individual responsibilities and workflows in the treatment of patients presenting ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, PEA, or asystole.
ArrestPAC's patent-pending design defaults to the American Heart Association algorithms for treatment, but allows variation to accommodate the wishes of individual medical directors in modifying treatment protocols. ArrestPACs are thus flexible tools for promoting ACLS standards, even when local standards vary from American Heart Association algorithms.
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