Did you ever consider that living in a high-rise increases a factor that could risk your life? A new study found that survival rates from cardiac arrest decrease the higher up the building a person lives.“Cardiac arrests that occur in high-rise buildings pose unique barriers for 911-initiated first responders,” said Ian Drennan, lead author of the study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Importantly, the further a patient with cardiac arrest is from the ground floor, the lower the survival rate. Of 8216 people who had cardiac arrests in private residences and were treated by 911-initiated first responders, 3.8% survived to be discharged from hospital. Of the 5998 (73%) people living below the 3rd floor who had cardiac arrests, 252 (4.2%) survived the arrest, but only 48 (2.6%) of the 1844 people living above the 3rd floor survived. When analysed floor by floor, the researchers found a survival rate of only 0.9% in those living above the 16th floor (2 of 216) and no survivors (0 of 30) in those living above the 25th floor.
The longer time to respond is the key issue for the the lower survival rates. The increase in time to respond is created by a number of factors such as 1) building access issues, 2) elevator delays and 3) the extended distance from the paramedic vehicle to the patient. and 4) the use of automated external defibrillators (AED) was very low. The lack of knowledge on how to use an AED is among the reasons why people shy away from the usage. Each delay alone might not impact survival rates but in most cases these reasons combined contribute to longer times for first responders to reach the patient and start life-saving CPR.
Fortunately, Lifesavers, Inc with over 25 years of CPR training experience and a leading Certified American Heart Association Training Center has identified seven of the most effective ways you can take action now to improve survival rates in your hi rise building. These steps include the following: 1) get trained in CPR and AED training 2) have trained staff of high-rise apartments on giving CPR 3) purchase and AED for your building and 4) have easy accessible to your building AED defibrillators 5) use smartphones to activate volunteer first responders for patients with cardiac arrest 6) put together a 24/7 CPR safety plan for your building and 7) develop a plan customized to your building so it takes into account any unique challenges your building may have in slowing down initial response times. Lifesavers, Inc has created a High Rise CPR Lifesavers Program designed especially to tackle the unique challenges that are created in High Rise living and you can call us today to get started at 866-641-1200. With over 1000 CPR trainers in our Lifesavers Network we are able and willing to serve your specific building needs and apply our 25+ years of practical hands on experience for your building to be CPR ready.
The researchers outline several additional solutions to improve time to patient contact, such as giving first responders sole access to elevators for emergency service without public interference, similar to the access of firefighters during a fire; emergency alerts to building staff before arrival of the first responders and better placement of defibrillators.
Singapore has taken the lead in addressing this problem, with a large public campaign currently underway to enroll residents’ committees as first responders and to train one million people over the next five years. Lifesavers Inc. is offering a wide range of CPR and AED Trainings that can help save lives in your high rise building so contact us today at Lifesavers with our toll free number at 866-641-1200 to set up an on site assessment and action plan!