King County's Cardiac Survival Rate Reaches 52 Percent

"Fast response during traumatic events like a heart attack is critical, and these new findings once again affirm the skill of our dispatchers who take 911 calls and the professionals who provide rapid, high-quality emergency care and transport," said County Executive Dow Constantine.

King County, Wash. officials announced Aug. 31 that the cardiac arrest survival rate there has reached an all-time high of 52 percent. King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the good news when he released a new report. Survival rates in most other U.S. locations are around 10 percent, according to King County EMS/Medic One.

"Fast response during traumatic events like a heart attack is critical, and these new findings once again affirm the skill of our dispatchers who take 911 calls and the professionals who provide rapid, high-quality emergency care and transport," said Executive Constantine, who thanked the voters of King County for their long history of support for this service.

Constantine sent the EMS/Medic One 2012 Annual Report the same day to the Metropolitan King County Council. It states that the county's EMS system responded to 164,690 calls to 911, including 45,220 for Advanced Life Support, and the average medic unit response time improved slightly to 7.5 minutes.

"Our EMS/Medic One system's success is built on a constant drive to improve health outcomes for King County residents," said Dr. David Fleming, director and Health Officer for Public Health, Seattle & King County. "We continue to raise the bar for patient survival from cardiac arrest, which is one of the most critical measures of success for any EMS/Medic One system."

The Emergency Medical Services Advisory Task Force adopted recommendations this year for a prospective renewal of the EMS/Medic One levy in 2013, a move that system officials say will enhance the system's medical training, oversight, and improvement and increase its efficiency. The recommendations will be forwarded to the county executive and King County Council by Sept. 15, and the strategic plan will be submitted to the council by Jan. 1, 2013. The annual report is available at www.kingcounty.gov/health/ems.

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