By Jason Kruger, MD
& Scott Wiebe, EMT-P
The successful treatment of sudden cardiac arrest is dependent upon the chain of survival. In order for a patient o survive, each link in the chain of
survival must work. Sudden cardiac arrest is a survivable disease!
In 2013, Lincoln (Neb.) Fire & Rescue (LFR) partnered with community stakeholders to initiate a
comprehensive effort to improve survival from
sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and
improve upon each link in our chain of survival.
In order to impact survival on a community
level, the rate-limiting steps in the chain of sur-
vival must each be addressed. Accurate measure-
ment is critical in improving performance. Thus,
Upon understanding LFR’s baseline perfor-
mance, we explored proven treatment modalities
to improve survival. Dispatchers were educated
on prompt recognition of cardiac arrest as well
as the timely initiation of dispatcher-directed
Time and effort were also spent on educating the
public on the importance of bystander CPR. LFR
invested in billboard advertisements to emphasize
hands-only CPR, and our providers began educating people at mass gatherings. The bystander CPR
app PulsePoint was also launched and has grown
Alerts for witnessed, shockable cardiac arrest
yield dramatic results in Lincoln, Neb.