In an effort to continually implement strategies to improve CPR outcomes for cardiac arrest patients, the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s (LACoFD) Emergency Medical Services Bureau replaced over 400 automated external defibrillators (AED) on all non-paramedic apparatus during the first week of September 2018. The device chosen by Medical Director Dr. Clayton Kazan and LACoFD first responders is the ZOLL AED 3. It is the most technologically advanced model on the market and provides useful real-time audio and visual CPR feedback on proper compression depth and rate.
The benefits of the investment are two-fold, first responders are enabled to deliver higher-quality CPR, and for cardiac arrest patients, this translates to improved survival rates and better neurological outcomes.
On Tuesday, September 4, shortly after the new equipment was put on Fire Engine 126, its crew responded to an emergency medical services call where a man had passed out sitting outside on a bench while talking to a friend. His friend began Hands-Only CPR and a call was made to 9-1-1. Upon arrival, first responders from Engine 126 began CPR with the new ZOLL AED 3 and the patient received one electrical shock, or defibrillation. When Paramedic Squad 124 arrived, the paramedics were able to unplug from the AED 3 and transfer to their ZOLL monitor, transporting the patient to the hospital within 10 minutes.
The quality of CPR that was delivered led to a great result; after treatment and bypass surgery at the hospital, the patient was found to be neurologically intact and ultimately walked out of the hospital with no deficits.
After each use, the ZOLL AED 3 is programmed to wirelessly upload a performance report directly back to the Fire Station. This reporting will drive quality improvement throughout LACoFD, allowing first responders to see how to make adjustments in treatment based on data that reveals everything from the exact depth of compressions, to the response of a patient before and after receiving an electrical shock.