First Responders play a key role in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) outcomes. Swift patient assessment and “High Performance CPR” are critical to saving lives.
What is High-Performance CPR?
High-Performance CPR is an expertly-performed, choreographed, and measured resuscitation attempt. It requires sound individual skills and seamless team performance.
HP-CPR is the foundation of successful resuscitation and is the most important EMS therapy in treating out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Other interventions, such as advanced airway management and drug administration, should never interrupt CPR or compromise chest compression quality.
The table below cites the American Heart Association performance recommendations for EMS CPR, causes and effects of shortfalls in care, and key points for providers.
Texas-CARES makes available a data collection and reporting platform that allows EMS agencies to measure OHCA care. CPR LifeLinks, in turn, provides guidance and resources to help agencies optimize their care.
EMS QI in Harris County ESD#48
The EMS quality improvement project among interested Texas-CARES participants includes implementation in EMS agencies of nationally vetted, evidence-based prehospital guidelines and best practices for management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). One such agency is Harris County Emergency Service District #48, which is located 28 miles west of Houston, Texas. This agency responds to a suburban population of 150,000 residents and has a call volume of approximately 8,000 every year.
Improvement efforts focus on comparing performance measures based on data before and after EMS agency personnel receive didactic education and scenario-based training that repeatedly and explicitly emphasize a team approach to minimally interrupted cardiac resuscitation. Performance measures are based on quality improvement variables related to chest compression depth, rate, and release velocity, and ventilation rates, which are recorded by EMS resuscitation equipment. CPR process files generated from resuscitation monitor equipment provide the basis for case-by-case agency feedback.