Seattle-Area Cardiac Arrest Survival Rate at 46 Percent

The EMS 2010 report, released Sept. 2, says the King County survival rate for witnessed cases of ventricular fibrillation of 46 percent makes it a national leader in that area.

Emergency Medical Services in King County released its 2010 annual report Sept. 2. It says the area's cardiac arrest survival rate for witnessed cases of ventricular fibrillation is 46 percent, far above 1 to 5 percent for other major metropolitan areas. More than 1.9 million people live in the county, which includes the city of Seattle.

"It's long been said that King County is the best place in the nation to have a heart attack, and I'm pleased to see that our EMS system remains a national leader today," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "People locally have an astonishingly higher chance of surviving a heart attack thanks to our exceptional 'chain of survival' -- from our many residents who can administer CPR to the quick response of our world-class Medic One system."

"We have established a successful model that is known for saving lives, being innovative and providing top-quality pre-hospital care," said Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County.

The EMS system responded to 169,334 calls to 911 and 49,950 responses for advanced life support in 2009. Average medic unit response time held steady at 7.7 minutes.

The report is available at

King County celebrated 25 years of 911 service last week in a ceremony that recognized four children who had correctly dialed 911 and allowed them to meet the operator who had helped them. On Sept. 4, 1985, King County became the first county in Washington State to implement a countywide Enhanced 911 system.

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