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New protocols save lives

St. Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] Paramedics Heather Briggs and Kelly Maull, along with Paramedic Battalion Chief Sara Stewart, were batting 1,000 on Sept. 20. The trio received two 911 emergency calls for cardiac arrests just hours apart, and utilizing newly implemented protocols, successfully revived both victims.

The first call came just before 9 a.m. as Briggs and Maull were washing their ambulance at the SCCAD station in Dardenne Prairie. Stewart responded from another station, and as the trio assessed their patient for reported seizure activity, he went into cardiac arrest. The team immediately initiated cardio-cerebral resuscitation protocols, and within minutes, the patient regained a pulse and was responsive.

Still euphoric over their earlier success, the crew was clearing the dinner dishes when they received another call – a witnessed cardiac arrest in a nearby subdivision. Briggs, Maull and Stewart arrived at 46-year-old James Lampe’s side in just four minutes.

Lampe’s wife, Lana, a registered nurse, had initiated CPR while the crew was en route. Once on the scene, the paramedics provided care and, on the way to the hospital, the father of two began breathing on his own, regained a pulse and was able to follow commands.

“The chances of the same crew being called for two cardiac arrests in a single shift is extremely slim, but for both to have successful outcomes is absolutely unheard of,” said Briggs. “Sunday was a once-in-a-career experience – one that the three of us will never forget.”

Since June, SCCAD Paramedics have utilized a new approach to cardiac arrest management called cardio-cerebral resuscitation [CCR]. The protocols employ a back-to-basics approach, and have already seen tremendous results. Since their implementation, SCCAD has achieved a survival rate of 39 percent – more than three times the national average of 9.5 percent.

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