Emergency Doctors: CPR Training For 911 Operators Could Save Lives


A group of emergency physicians is calling on state officials to expand training for 911 dispatchers to improve survival rates of residents who experience a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital.

Rhode Island is the only state in New England where 911 operators are not certified to coach callers on how to perform CPR. In states with certified Emergency Medical Dispatch Centers, 911 operators also can instruct callers about how to control bleeding, relieve choking and help someone overdosing until emergency responders arrive, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services.

The health department’s stroke-prevention task force’s 2016 report recommended a dispatcher certification program based on the current emergency medical dispatch standards.

Stroke treatment window expanded after study involving UW Hospital

From the State Journal:

When Kent Wittwer couldn’t wake up his wife last month, he called 911.

Jill Wittwer, 59, was rushed to UW Hospital, where doctors said she had a stroke. Using a stent device inside a catheter, they removed a clot blocking blood flow in her brain.

Until recently, patients couldn’t get the procedure unless doctors knew the stroke happened within six hours. But two national studies, one involving patients at UW Hospital, expanded the window to 24 hours — a potential life-saver for people who have strokes during sleep, as Wittwer did.

Bill Requiring ID To Get Opioid Prescriptions Introduced In Illinois

From The Fix:

With recent statistics showing a 70% increase in opioid-related overdoses in the midwestern United States, a Republican congressman has sought to fight back by introducing a new bill, HR 5219, that would require individuals to present a valid ID before picking up prescription opioids from a pharmacy.

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced the proposed legislation at a press conference in Normal, Illinois on March 9, where he was joined by members of local law enforcement and government, as well as health care officials. As Davis noted at the conference, the bill is intended to halt the practice of “pharmacy shopping,” and to help police track down drug dealers who may be filling out prescriptions written for others.

Loss of Obstetric Services in Rural Counties Associated With Childbirth Risks

From AJMC:

Rural counties in the United States have experienced a decline in the availability of hospital-based obstetric services, dropping from 55% of counties having these services in 2004 to 46% in 2014. This loss can “exacerbate maternal health challenges” in rural areas, according to a study in JAMA.