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Training for Team Dynamics in Resuscitation

EMS: A Year in Review

Each year, there are more than 350,000 incidents of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, making sudden cardiac arrest the third leading cause of death in the United States.1

Despite these numbers, only 40 communities across the nation have begun to rigorously measure and report on their survival rates.2 One of these communities making an immense difference is King County in Washington.

The cardiac survival rate in King County has dramatically increased in recent years, from 27% in 2002 to 62% in 2013.3 When compared with the national survival rate (from hospital to discharge) of 12%, their dedication speaks for itself.4

There’s no doubt that the disparity in survival from cardiac arrest is a great, unappreciated tragedy because many, many people dying could be snatched from the jaws of death with the appropriate emergency medical services.*

Mickey Eisenberg, M.D., Professor and King County EMS Medical Director

People are alive today in King County who would not have survived in most other places in the country. Our system delivers rapid, high-quality critical care wherever you are.**

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

By including dispatchers, first responders, fire departments, law enforcement, paramedics, urgent care centers, and laypeople in the regional trainings, King County has solidified everyone’s role in the CPR Chain of Survival. With integrated trainings, including the hands-on training for quality CPR, the need for teamwork and communication become even more apparent.

Deliberately practicing these skills for CPR can improve trainings for other clinical skills, as effective teamwork will always be critical to patient outcomes. If you can train for CPR, you can train for anything.


  1. American Heart Association. (2017). Statistical update. Retrieved from http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/General/UCM_477263_Cardiac-Arrest-Statistics.jsp
  2. The Resuscitation Academy. (2017). Background. Retrieved from http://www.resuscitationacademy.org/about/
  3. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. (2014). King county, WA, has world’s highest survival rate for cardiac arrest. Retrieved from http://www.sca-aware.org/sca-news/king-county-wa-has-worlds-highest-survival-rate-for-cardiac-arrest
  4. American Heart Association. (2017). See reference #1.
  5. The Resuscitation Academy. (n.d.). 10 steps for improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Retrieved from http://www.resuscitationacademy.org/downloads/ebook/TenStepsforImprovingSurvivalFromSuddenCardiacArrest-RA-eBook-PDFFinal-v1_2.pdf

*American Heart Association News. (2015). Cardiac arrest doesn’t have to be death sentence. Retrieved from https://news.heart.org/cardiac-arrest-doesnt-have-to-be-death-sentence/

**Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. (2014). See reference #3.

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