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A Motorcycle Paramedic Increases the Survival Rate of Patients after OHCA.

Medicina 2023 September 25
Background and Objectives: Despite advancements in modern medicine, the survival rate of patients after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains low. The proportion of OHCA patients who could be saved under ideal circumstances is unknown. A significant portion of patients experience cardiac arrest due to irreversible conditions. The survival of patients with reversible causes depends on the prompt initiation of basic life support (BLS) and early defibrillation. In order to increase the chances of survival, the motorcycle paramedic (MP) project was implemented in Ljubljana in 2003. The MP is equipped with an AED. In the case of OHCA with a shockable rhythm, he performs defibrillation before the arrival of the emergency medical team (EMT). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the MP, by reducing response times to OHCA patients, increases the survival and outcome of these patients compared to the EMT. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of OHCA cases within the area covered by Ljubljana Emergency Medical Service (EMS) was conducted for the period from January 2003 to December 2022. Instances where the MP arrived at the scene before the EMT were considered MP interventions and classified as the MP group; all other interventions were classified as the EMT group. Results: Between January 2003 and December 2022, the EMT performed resuscitation on 3352 patients. In 316 cases, the MP was simultaneously activated and arrived at the scene before the EMT. The response time in the MP group was shorter compared to the EMT group (7.7 ± 4.1 min vs. 9.9 ± 6.5 min, p < 0.001). In 16 patients, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was achieved before the arrival of the EMT. The MP group had a higher ROSC rate, a larger proportion of patients were discharged from the hospital and there were more patients with a good neurological outcome compared to the EMT group (44.3% vs. 36.9%, p = 0.009; 18.7% vs. 13.0%, p = 0.005; 15.9% vs. 10.6%, p = 0.004, respectively). Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the implementation of the MP into the EMS in Ljubljana has resulted in shorter response times, an increased survival rate and improved neurological outcome for OHCA patients.

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