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Heart Attack Survival Rate Reaches A Record 52 Percent In King County

The Mercer Island Fire Department says its heart attack survival rate in 2011 was 50 percent.

While survival rates for heart attacks in most other parts of the nation hover around 10 percent, your chances of surviving cardiac arrest in King County reached an all-time high of 52 percent this year, according to a new report released by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

"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.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Medic One 2012 Annual Report highlights the achievements and other activities that the place King County EMS/Medic One system — of which Mercer Island is a part — among the world's best.

In 2011, the EMS system in King County responded to 164,690 calls to 911, including 45,220 for Advanced Life Support (ALS), the most serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The average medic unit response time improved slightly to 7.5 minutes. Twenty seven percent of EMS calls in the county that required a medic unit were related to cardiovascular events.

On Mercer Island, officials from the said its firefighter/EMTs responded to 2,095 calls of which 66.9% were medical calls — and of those, EMTs were able to recusitate 50 percent of patients who reported suffering a heart attack.

"I feel safer knowing that the system for response to heart attack events in King County is so effective, and I would hope other Islanders feel the same way," said Mercer Island City Manager Rich Conrad.

MIFD Deputy Chief Steve Heitman said the department teaches CPR/Defibrillation classes throughout the year at and encouraged local business and elderly care and housing facilities to purchase (AEDs). There are 12 AED's located in various public buildings on the island, this does not include privately owned AED units, as well as units in patrol cars.

The King County EMS/Medic One system is managed by the Emergency Medical Services Division of Public Health – Seattle & King County, and relies on a close partnership of thousands of professionals with fire departments, paramedic agencies, EMS dispatch centers, and hospitals to provide emergency care and save lives.

"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."

To maintain the integrity of this of the world-class system, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Advisory Task Force adopted recommendations this summer for a prospective renewal of the EMS/Medic One levy in 2013. The recommendations will enhance the system's superior medical training, oversight and improvement; advance the system's innovative programs and strategies, and regional leadership; and incorporate greater efficiencies throughout the entire EMS/Medic One program.

The recommendations will be forwarded to the County Executive and King County Council by September 15, 2012, and the Strategic Plan will be crafted and submitted to the King County Council by January 1, 2013.

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