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February 17, 2012

New technology, research drives patient care improvements

The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — A new push is under way to improve the care people get after they call 911, when minutes can make the difference between life and death.

A growing number of communities are training their 911 call centers to instruct bystanders by telephone in the best way to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, which has been shown to increase a patient's chance of surviving.

Some emergency responders are equipping ambulances with new technologies like digital transmission systems to beam electrocardiograms to hospitals and quick-clotting bandages, developed for troops fighting in Iraq, to stop bleeding faster. Paramedics—the most skilled providers of pre-hospital emergency care—also are being trained to chill cardiac-arrest patients after resuscitating them, as is often done in hospitals; the procedure has been shown to increase patients' chances of surviving without brain damage.

Full Story: The Ultimate Lifesaver