Stafford recognizes medics providing life-saving cardiac care

On Friday, April 15, the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department recognized more than three dozen personnel for their work in cardiac arrest.

When patients lose their pulse, statistics show it’s more than likely they won’t come back.

“The patient, upon initial assessment, was having a medical emergency. Her condition quickly declined in front of us despite our efforts to intervene, ”said Krystal Commers, a nationally registered paramedic and firefighter with the Stafford County Department of Fire and Rescue.

When Commers and her crew arrived on the scene of a woman having a medical emergency, the woman entered cardiac arrest, losing her pulse and her ability to breathe. The team initiated CPR, along with other advanced medical procedures.

Within minutes, the woman began breathing again, and her pulse returned. Commers rushed the woman to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg. Eventually, the hospital discharged the woman, who suffered no brain damage.

It is estimated that less than 10 percent of patients who experience cardiac arrest in an out-of-hospital setting are discharged from the hospital. Early CPS saves lives, ”said Commers. “Being able to provide a quick intervention with the training and tools we have been given saved this woman’s life.”

On Friday, April 15, the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department recognized more than three dozen personnel for their work in cardiac arrest saves over the past several months. This is a new initiative to recognize crews and reunite them with the patients they help.

Clinical saves, or cardiac arrest saves, are when a patient presents as pulseless and not breathing and is later released from a hospital with little to no neurological damage through pre-hospital clinical interventions and subsequent transport to definitive care.

The department recognized crews from six different incidents since August of 2021, which added an estimated combined 75 life years.

Emergency crews treat these types of calls as the most serious. “When you identify that time is not on your side with a patient’s condition, you must act quickly and appropriately,” said Commers. “There are a lot of members to the team, including 911 callers, dispatchers, apparatus drivers, the paramedics / firefighters, family members, and transport facilities. You all work together to provide the highest level of care for the best outcome for our patients. “

Research shows that early intervention with bystander CPR is essential to cardiac arrest survival. If you would like to make a difference, the Staford Fire and Rescue Department encourages residents to download the PulsePoint app to be alerted if someone near you is in cardiac arrest and needs CPR.

“We’re allowing people a second chance they wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for the training and continuous advancements in pre-hospital care,” added Commers. “I’m so proud to work with the people that I do, sharing a common goal, to devote our lives to helping others.”

If you are interested in becoming CPR certified, call the Stafford County Fire and Rescue at 540-658-7200.

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